There has been so much talk recently about the departure of Emma Rice from The Globe, and I simply had to wade in and express my thoughts via the internet. I mean, I’m a theatrical blogger and this is a major theatrical event. What kind of person would I be if I didn’t insist that you all read my thoughts on the matter? There’s laundry to be done, the gas man is coming round and a cupboard under the stairs is steadily forming its own government. But fuck it. Ranting at the laptop it is.
And what I have to say may surprise some of you, and may cause some controversy. But I have to come clean and be honest and say that I for one am genuinely very glad by the board’s decision, and am personally rather chuffed about the Globe soon performing some work which truly embodies ‘historical authenticity’. Because after all, ‘historical authenticity’ is what the Globe stands for. It’s what it represents. And it is only true and proper that future programming acknowledges that. Yes, it’s old fashioned of me, but we simply can’t just brush tradition under the carpet.
I mean, do any of you actually know just how long the Globe has been standing and overlooking the Thames? Do you truly know the depths of it’s rich and golden history? Do you even know just how long ago that ‘historical’ venue was actually BUILT?
TWENTY WHOLE YEARS AGO.
In the glorious and ancient year of 1997, the Globe theatre was erected and has now been a part of London’s well-documented history for two entire decades. I mean, Christ. I was only FIFTEEN YEARS OLD when that venue was opened. A mere teenager. A child. And Emma bloody Rice is trying to rob me of my nostalgia, and vamp it up with her newfangled 2016 ideas. When what we should all REALLY be doing is looking at the ‘historical authenticity’ of the golden era when it was built.
And 1997 in particular.
I mean, I haven’t actually SEEN anything at the Globe in fucking donkeys, as I prefer to take the ‘Daily Mail’ attitude to the arts. Which is to not actually go and watch anything, but simply read a Quentin Letts review and get grumpy about it in the comfort of my own home.
It’s cheaper and I don’t have to sit next to strangers.
However, I read with interest that Rice’s most recent sell-out smash hit of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ was littered with modern references such as Beyonce, and some of the cast were actually wearing HOT PANTS. Which I for one think is an actual travesty.
Where are the platform trainers and the combat pants? Like so many American tourists, I want to see the cast dressed in a style that is in-keeping with the period of when the building was built. I want to see Kickers, studded belts and some brightly coloured hair mascara. I want my Helena to be dressed like Claire Danes in ‘My So Called Life’. And I want Titania to be styled on Cher from ‘Clueless’.
I mean, come on people. I want some FUCKING HISTORICAL AUTHENTICITY.
I don’t want to hear Beyonce or Bollywood or some god-awful garage music. I want my theatre to be accompanied by All Saints, TLC or some early Christina Aguilera when she was all tiny and cute and you could just put her in your pocket. I want heavy references to ‘Clarissa Explains It All’ and ‘Saved By The Bell’, not the lyrics to some god-awful Daft Punk song like she did in ‘Imogen’. (Again, didn’t see it, but I’m sure it was dreadful.)
And let us not forget the other incredible moments of theatrical history, which also took place in 1997. For instance, ‘The Lion King’ opened on Broadway. Unbelievable! So why doesn’t somebody restage ‘Hamlet’ (I hear the two are linked, who fucking knew) using animals and some African music. You may get lawsuits and shit from Disney if you do it with lions so maybe pick another animal. Like leopards or something. And rename Hamlet. Maybe Himba? Anyway, the details are totally not important, as it is the HISTORICAL AUTHENTICTY that is important here. And ‘The Lion King’ captures the heart of 1997 theatre PERFECTLY.
So there you have it. In my opinion the board are totally correct in getting shot of an exciting and forward thinking director who was bringing in new audiences to an awesome and beautiful venue. I mean, so many of the next generation believe that theatre is old-fashioned and dull and who the hell are we to try to prove them wrong? Let them continue to believe that theatre is inaccessible and ‘hard to understand’ and lets just make theatre part of their history lessons. They can learn about how the actual Globe theatre is almost certainly now a car park or something down the road. And how we buried over it years ago, just as we did to Richard III. Because that’s how much we actually value historical authenticity.
So just make it a museum. A tribute to the 90’s. A tourist attraction, like the Tower of London.
Only all about the 90’s, obviously. What with it being historically authentic and all.
Because no one wants to see good theatre anymore.
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