Shakespeare can take credit for a lot: some 40 plays, I don’t know how many sonnets, the creation of hundreds of words and just as many phrases of English vernacular, and one incredible weekend in the UK. It started on Saturday, when we went to see Henry V at the Globe Theatre, which was built near, and closely resembling the original, old Globe Theatre. Henry and his cast were incredible. Our tickets were in the standing section, and experiencing Shakespeare as closely as the 16th-century English did was absolutely incredible.
We dined on “traditional” bratwurst and wine, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience, though our feet were a little sore after walking all day in London and then standing for the duration of the three-hour play. Although standing room had never exactly appealed to me, the connection we felt with the cast and the stage was incredible, and unlike any other theatrical experience.
In keeping with the theme, we watched Shakespeare in Love on Sunday to mentally prepare for our impending and final trip, to Stratford-Upon-Avon. In case you were wondering, we were pretty excited.
Our day in Stratford was beautiful and sunny. We began with a tour of his house, and walking on the original floors where Shakespeare himself walked and lived and cooked and wrote was incredible. The tour itself was a bit of a letdown, as the museum was not particularly informative and we were surrounded by francophone tourist groups. However, the actor performing Shakespeare in the garden made up for it, and overall, we had a lovely time.
After touring Shakespeare’s house, we visited his grave, and spent the rest of the day walking along the river Avon, making friends with butterflies at the Butterfly Farm, drinking tea and eating cake, and visiting the various houses and cottages associated with Shakespeare in Stratford.
Although the tour didn’t capture it’s full potential, our day in Stratford was beautiful. The town itself is relatively untouched, and we both came away inspired to experience more Shakespeare.