Shakespeare’s crafts

Today I’d like to take you along to a tour of Shakespeare’s Globe – a recreation of the original theatre which was put up a few years ago. I went there with some friends on Sunday, it is right around the corner (literally, it takes me 2 minutes to get to it from where I live) and I do love Mr. S., so when they invited me I couldn’t say no. But I had no idea that I would be in for more than a literary and historical treat – actually, more than anything, it was a crafty treat!

Basically, when the whole idea of recreating the Globe was born, it was decided that, to the best of current knowledge and abilities, things would be done exactly as they had been done in Shakespeare’s time: this included petitioning the City of London to allow for a thatch roof to be put up (thatch roofs have been banned since the Great Fire of London, and remain so today, it took the City 8 years to finally decide to give them an exceptional permit), doing all the building in the traditional way, and creating all the costumes and stage props just like they were back in the day. I found all this out on the tour and I have to say, as someone who is not a big fan of running after a tourguide – I’m really glad I paid attention to this one! It made the whole experience and my whole attitude towards the building so special! Even though it was only erected recently, knowing how it was built makes you feel like it truly contains history.

Come along!

See those pillars on the stage? Don’t they look like marble? They’re made of wood! And painted so as to look like marble.  How cool is that? As the tour guide explained, “neither Mr. S. nor we could afford real marble”.

Accompanying the theatre tour is the exhibition, where you find out loads of information about Shakespeare’s era and how this part of London and the theatre world looked back then, as well as how the current theatre was built and how the plays are staged at it. This, of course, included lots of stories on making the costumes, and there were wonderful exhibits that seemed to be ok to touch (I sure hope so, because I did!), which made me giddy with excitement!

This is one of the first things I came across.

Now, if I had a tailor as handsome as this, you could be sure I’d be running off to get a new dress sewn for me every week! ;) Here are some of his props:

I’m such a sucker for old things and such a romantic at heart, so this just makes me incredibly happy! Of course, crafts other than sewing were involved as well: embroidery…

… and

… (wait for it)

… knitting!!! :)

And I’m pretty sure this is a splendid example of weaving.

I love the fact that both the production and the upkeep of garments are done in the traditional way. (Not sure how much the actors love all those underskirts, though…)

To finish off, I leave you with three adorable tiny models of dress forms (I would love to have these displayed in my some-day-to-exist studio)…

… and one thoroughly spooky model doll in a pretty dress! :)

Truth be told, the spookiness is mainly due to the atmospheric lighting in the exhibition (this is also the reason behind the poor quality of most photos). Hope you enjoyed the little tour! I highly recommend it if you are ever in London! And I’ll definitely be going back to the Globe to see a play, as soon as it gets warmer!

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About fridica

I started knitting completely by accident, when I was visiting my parents for a holiday in 2008. On a boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to dig through their stash of books to see if there was anything interesting to take back to my apartment. A knitting manual happened to be one of the books I found. I got curious, my mom immediately dug out her old needles and yarn stash (which she hadn’t used in a decade at least), and in a few minutes we were both casting on - she by memory, I by following the instructions from the book… :) Since I normally prefer learning from books, this was ideal.. I took the book home with me, and very very soon - I was an addict.

6 thoughts on “Shakespeare’s crafts

  1. Ah, I’m really happy for you :) Last December in Belgrade I listened to David Crystal give a talk on his collaboration with the Globe on putting up a production in original pronunciation. Together with his wife, he recited parts of plays and whole sonnets and it was extraordinary, magical almost. I felt transported back in time and space and more connected to Shakespeare than ever before.

  2. I saw “As You Like It” there, stood right next to the stage, and it was fantastic. You must go. It is an extraordinary experience.

    • I definitely will! Standing places are only 5 pounds as well! And I do want to stand, to really get the experience.. While we were there, a young theatrical group was doing rehearsals for some special performance they’re doing there, and it was just magical to see them on stage, I was completely mesmerized.

  3. Lovely! I would like to see and experience all of this.I was last year in England for two months and somehow didn’t have time to go to London.There’s maybe a chance for me to go there again and If I go, I well try to visit London.If so, I would like to see this, and I will definitely ask you for some advices about London.

  4. Thanks dear I hope to come to visit London, it is in my wish list, + Hubby, as at the of this year I will be retired, but hope that I will have as a Cicero. Loredana.

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