When I was eight years old I was in a production of The Comedy of Errors. I had one line in the play and it was my shining moment. The production took place outside and I got to run down a hill through some trees and on to the stage yelling, “Mistress, Oh Mistress” at the top of my lungs. The occasion marked one of my very first lines on stage and even more importantly, the first time I ever read a Shakespeare play. It was a really monumental moment for me, okay?
Anyway, the purpose of this little trip down memory lane is to share that I went to see a production of the very same play at the Globe Theater, a.k.a. the theater built by Shakespeare’s playing company. Ooh, the history! (We can just disregard the whole bit about the fire and the modern reconstruction.)
I decided to take part in the experience as a groundling. During Shakespeare’s time Groundlings would enter and spend the duration of the performance standing in the yard, the space closest to the stage on ground level. While it costs more than a penny now, my five pound admission cost was nothing to be disappointed with. I was really lucky in that it didn’t rain AND I got a spot right up by the stage!The performance itself was fantastic; I had forgotten how funny the play was! Going to see a Shakespeare production that holds such a special place in my heart was such a dream come true. Also, the whole atmosphere felt so different from other production I’ve seen; the entire authentic experience, the enthusiasm of the audience, and of course the amazing performers made the entire outing such a delight. I may have been a groundling, but the whole event was so fantastic that I felt like Queen Elizabeth the first.