Shakespeare’s Globe On Screen

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I walk past Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre almost everyday on my way to and from my office. The crazy thing is I’ve never gone further than the bookshop. It’s been on my list of “must got and see something there this season” , but I’ve never quite got round to booking a ticket. (to my shame, I know!)

So I was delighted to have the chance this week to actually go inside and see the theatre but also to find out more about the Globe on Screen season. Globe on Screen enables those not able to come to this theatre a chance to see productions that have been put on here in their local cinema. They are also released via DVD aswell.

I firstly got to see the technical crew setting up and getting ready to record that evening performance of The Taming of the Shrew. I knew it must be a special theatre but to actually sit in it and see the space was wonderful. I’ll certainly be aiming to see something here before the season finishes, if not it’ll be top of my list for 2013.

I got to chat to Technical Manager Paul Williams and he explained how the production is filmed twice and then edited due to the surprises that an outdoor venue can provide such as helicopters circling and the beloved British weather. They also want to give a flavour of how the audience are such and integral part of plays at the Globe and so the technical demands are different to incorporate them as well as the action on stage.

I was pleased to hear that they also record the whole production via a static camera and so can I selfishly suggest they put a static camera version of the show on the DVD too? As I’d love to have the opportunity to see it presented like that rather than via the directors cut.

I also got to meet the director filming The Taming of the Shrew Ross MacGibbon and he explained how he goes about filming these unique productions. His meticulous and highly organised way of dealing with the plays is the reason I think he captures them so well. He explained that the advances in HD technology now make it possible to record live outdoor theatre and enable it to capture the essence of what it really is like to be there. Take a look at the trailer to see how well they’ve done it;

I got to see clips from each one of the upcoming plays in this Globe on Screen season, All’s Well That End’s Well kicks off the season on September 26th. Much Ado About Nothing continues the run from October 10th and Doctor Faustus concludes the season from October 24th. As you can see above, the quality is superb and they really had managed to capture the way the audience is part of the appeal of productions at the Globe. I kicked myself for missing Doctor Faustus when it was on last year and so I’m chuffed I can now see this production at a cinema near me.

Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole was away in Washington with a production of Hamlet but he had a left a video message which explained why they wanted to share their productions in this way. His passion for what goes on the stage here and wanting to share it with as many people as possible is admirable. I also salute them for then sharing them via DVD, as he was keen that these productions be kept for posterity and shown for many years to come which I was so pleased to hear. If only other theatres followed suit and allowed their recorded productions to be released on DVD.

So if you live too far away to come to the Globe or like me have been tardy in getting to see something there, catch these at a cinema near you, or order online and watch in the comfort of your own home. These are some of the premier versions of these classic plays, getting to see them at the Globe is a real treat, for those that can’t this on-screen season will be the next best thing.

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