A Weekend with Shakespeare

Anna Blumenscheid University of Westminster, England


October 7, 2015

Stratford-upon-Avon, Surprise Acting, Selfies with Shakespeare, & Hamlet

On this Saturday, 3 October 2015, I went to Stratford-Upon-Avon with the Arcadia group. When we first got there, we had some free time, so because it was still early, alright early-ish, it was 10:30, I got coffee. YAY!!! 

Another girl on the trip and I ended up wandering around and finding a secondhand bookstore. I promptly, after staring at their Shakespeare collection, bought a well-loved copy of Macbeth. Macbeth and Hamlet have recently become two of my favorite Shakespeare works.

Later we toured Shakespeare’s home. In the back yard on the way in, there was a large board of a lot of Shakespeare’s plays. Each section was designated to a different play and written in each were the themes, very clearly depicting the developmental arc of the play. Staring at it I suddenly had this feeling of awe at the overwhelming number of plays and how different each play is from the others.

Walking through the house was cool, but it was very much like the other period houses I’ve been in. However, in the backyard there were two people reciting Shakespeare by request.

Someone asked for some of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. When the woman reciting it said she had some Helena, or some puck, the girl who requested it asked if they had any of the acting troop. Within the play there is a group of actors putting on the story of Pyramus and Thisbe. 

The woman reciting said yes, but she would need some volunteers. And so I and my friend were cast as the lion. We played a very (quiet) spectacular lion. I think that the two of us would have been better suited to play moonshine, but I’ll take my lion. It was really fun, and we were all laughing by the end. Every character that wasn’t the narrator was a volunteer. 

After that we headed out through the gift shop and then headed towards the church that houses Shakespeare’s grave. The way to the church was a very nice stroll next to the river Avon. The church itself was beautiful. Shakespeare’s grave is right in front of the altar.

As it was almost time to go, we headed back toward the bus, and then we left for London, but we took a scenic route and went through the Cotswold which was cool, so we got to see some of the English countryside, before getting back to London.

It was a great day, and after being in the city for some time it was nice to get out of it and see some of the countryside.

So that was Saturday. 

Then on Sunday night I decided that I was going to see Hamlet. On Monday, I got up really early and went to the theatre, because they release 30 same-day tickets each morning. However by the time I reached the front of the line, there were no more of those tickets, but there was a single return ticket. So I got to go see Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch. The show was incredible. Benedict Cumberbatch played Hamlet really well. 

There will probably be another post later about more play details later.