After exploring a few of the sights connected to Shakespeare and his life and family, it was time to talk about theatre! Gretchen did a presentation on Henry IV part 1, which was appropriate because she is a theatre major herself! While still at Hall’s Croft, a few of us sat in the cafe for tea and snacks, so we discussed Shakespeare’s play there.
Henry IV part 1 is one of Will’s “history” plays. There isn’t an exact date of when he wrote this play, but it was first performed in 1600! This story is a lot of fun because there are scenes that take place in a rowdy pub and the play ends with an exciting battle. With Gretchen leading the conversation, we discussed the play’s themes and characters. Falstaff is a comedic character and both is Shakespeare’s time and our own now, is one of his most popular characters. He is a loud, bumbling man who drinks a lot of alcohol, but he also has some of the funniest lines in all of Shakespeare.
This play spends a lot of time talking about honor. Every character in this play has a different view on honor, and it works out for most of them, even the characters that decided one of the most honorable things to do is die honorably. Talking about all of this really pumped up all of us in the group because our day was going to culminate in seeing Henry IV part 1 live at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Before heading to the theatre, we were all STARVING. So as a group we headed to a fish and chips place by the theatre called Barnaby’s. I think we overwhelmed them a little bit considering we took up half the place.
The Royal Shakespeare Company WAS SO AWESOME! The first thing we did when we got there was head to the shop. It was so overwhelming because I wanted to buy everything. I did end up buying a lot of things because all the things were so awesome. I totally bought a magnet that said “to be or not to be.”
Henry IV part 1 was phenomenal. The Royal Shakespeare Company is the end all and be all of Shakespearian theatre. They have been around for a very long time and many famous British actors have been in productions here. Everything about the theatre was so amazing and I was so excited.
The theatre was not what I was expecting at all. We had seats pretty high up and they were these awkward barstool-like seats REALLY high up. We were definitely among the stage lights. A couple people in our group were a little terrified, because of the whole height and being really up high thing. That all went away when the show started though! I have never scene such a professional production of a show before and I enjoyed the experience a lot.
The funny scenes were hilarious, the serious scenes were dramatic, and the battle scenes were so intense! During the intermission, Amara and I ran toward each other and couldn’t even speak in actual sentences because we were both so excited about the show.
It was a lot of fun and we ended the night waiting for an hour at the bus stop to take us back to the hostel. We were all full of the high of Shakespeare and that hour went by quite quickly. After seeing this amazing show, I’m quite excited to head back to the theatre Monday night to see The Roaring Girl.