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Sunday, 3 July 2011

Shakespeare on a Saturday

With buildings like this, we could only really be in one place: Stratford-Upon-Avon.

We arrived mid-afternoon to have a wander round before going to see Macbeth at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. My husband was given four tickets as a present for his birthday last year, and we'd been planning our trip for some time. We were so lucky to have a beautifully sunny day for the excursion: warm but not too hot.

The town centre was packed: Shakespeare's birthplace still stands, but it's in the middle of a high street surrounded by chain stores, and was mobbed with parties of tourists and charges an extortionate entry price to get in. The pretty side streets were more peaceful and beautiful. And then of course there is that famous river.

Love these boats with their Shakespearian names: Ophelia and Rosalind. There was a river festival taking place, with a parade of colourful narrow boats gliding past and mooring by the banks. Quite a spectacle.

What we'd really come for was this:

It didn't disappoint. Younger son has been studying the play at school, so it was a good choice. He was able to fill everyone in on the story beforehand, and the production was so well acted that the speeches made perfect sense. We loved the special effects: instead of three witches, there was a trio of ghostly children who made their first appearance like three broken puppets dangling from the ceiling. The only music was provided by three sombre cellos. But there were plenty of sword fights, blood and gore, too! We all agreed that it was an amazing experience.

As the new theatre is by the river, you can stretch your legs on the banks at interval time, and enjoy the balmy evening.

We all agreed that we'd love to come back again.

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