It is magnificent to look at and even look inside but what I love the most is how magificent it makes Shakespeare's plays appear.
I studied a couple at school and college and I like Hamlet, I love Macbeth and I can stomach Much ado about nothing but I've always been wary of the ones I never read -how could I understand them if a teacher hadn't already explained the story, the language, the jokes? By seeing them performed live, that's how. As I watch the actors (obviously after I've got the audience safely into their seats) own the stage, speaking in that language it doesn't matter that I don't always understand, I can see what I'm meant to hear. Like films with subtitles, maybe I don't understand the joke but I can see from the actors' expressions what the gist of it is. And special praise then must go to the actors themselves. Young and old, Kiwis and Americans - doing Shakespeare every bit as well as Cumberbatch and Brannagh.
I watched Romeo and Juliet last week, a play I studied and found tedious in its ridiculous love story. But performed by this company, I found myself laughing at the humour that doesn't ever translate in the film versions, and also I found the relationship between Juliet (Christel Chapman) and the veryemo Romeo (Jonathan Tynan Moss) really sweet. And how brilliant was the dance sequence at the end!
I also enjoyed the one at the end of Twelfth Night, clearly a theme and a very clever idea. I didn't know Tweflfth night well, but it was saucier than a Carry on film even with the all male cast. And has there ever been a fairer Olivia than Daniel Watterson?
Next week I will be volunteering at the Tempest- I think this has been my best decision of 2016....
The pop up globe has been doing school performances and seeing the teenagers at the performances has been really good - hopefully people will realise just because the language is old it doesn't mean the story is. Shakespeare is as relevant today as he had ever been and you don't need a degree to understand him - you just need to go to a play and immerse yourselves.