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Tony Grist

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Stratford [May. 25th, 2008|08:39 am]
Tony Grist
We just got back from the Open University Shakespeare Society's day school in Stratford- where we work-shopped scenes from King Lear and a Midsummer Night's Dream. Acting Shakespeare- even if you're doing it really, really badly- is a magical experience. And I'm using "magical" in its technical sense. The way I felt after playing Puck- after a single scene in which I spoke half a line and otherwise kicked my heels and pulled faces- was how I used to feel after doing a Wiccan ritual. Shakespeare takes you into another world- where you are transfigured and bound in close fellowship with the other actors- and it's a harsh experience coming back. 

We did the tourist thing. We walked along the river, visited Holy Trinity- which is a lovely church and well worth visiting quite apart from its Shakespearian connections- and had a very good dinner at The Vinter- allegedly the oldest restaurant in town and the place where Shakespeare used to buy his wine. Stratford is this curious combination of quaint old country town and cosmopolitan centre. I was prepared for it to be tacky, but it's not. You can't cheapen Shakespeare; he's bigger than you are- and this town belongs to him.


[User Picture]From: clindau
2008-05-26 07:23 pm (UTC)
In 1974, I went on a Christmas-break trip to London and Stratford was one of the day trips in the package.

Oh. My.

We did the touristy thing--The Church, The Home, The Hathaway Home, The RSC building. No plays, sadly, but I still remember the day well. It was the first time I'd been out of the USA, and I was amazed to discover that there were places on earth that were *green* on the first day of January. I come from the northern US, after all; January means there must be feet of snow on the ground and below zero(F) temps.

I should go back--I'd appreciate it much more now that I have some miles under my belt, Shakespeare-wise.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2008-05-27 09:28 am (UTC)
The English climate- thanks, I suppose, to global warming- gets milder and milder. Snow is becoming an ever rarer experience. This past year we had hardly any snow over the winter- followed by a few unseasonal flurries in early spring.
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