It’s been a long, hard year, and I need a real treat …
Whilst it’s not all been bad news, Spring Term was dominated by an insidious, invidious, but ultimately innocuous illness that lingered like an unwelcome guest at a party, refusing to take all the hints I could throw at it that it needed to exit stage left. Summer Term replaced that with a series of professional setbacks and niggles that have led to my heavy-hearted decision to leave a school I always thought I would (eventually) retire at, and where I work daily alongside some of my closest friends. ‘You do the math‘, as Shakespeare never said.
I’m currently open to offers inside and outside the profession, by the way …
It’s only with a week to go that I’ve properly started to give thought to the summer holidays – for once, I refuse to fill any of it up with school work, although Shakespeare will, naturally, still feature. ‘Heavily‘, as my students are so fond of saying in their essays.
Which brings me to the main event of the summer …
The Globe are staging Henry IV, 1 and 2, and Henry V. On just three days between now and the end of the run, you can see them all on the same day! Stop. Breathe. Let that sink in.
Midday: 1 Henry IV
4:00pm: 2 Henry IV
8:00pm: Henry V
I have sort of done this before. Back in the heady summers of being the production photographer for the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival I often shot three plays in a day – an afternoon matinee in full, but then, crucially, two half performances in the evening, switching between, say, Julius Caesar and The Merry Wives at the interval, traversing Cambridge like a madman to get to my next venue.
My Dearest Partner of Greatness has made a considerable gesture by agreeing to come to performances 1 and 3, but she is naturally concerned about: a) the time attending all three would allow to get something decent to eat; and b) the prospect of standing with the Groundlings all day. And I must admit on the latter at least she has a point – when I was last there, to see King Lear, my dogs were barking a little by the end.
But, as Hal would say …
gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here (Henry V: IV,iii)
Can’t wait to go. Can’t wait to write about the experience, either …
More details available at The Globe’s website.
Quotations from plays are taken from www.opensourceshakespeare.org