BootsnAll Travel Network

Violating Sanctions

An American Woman’s Listening Tour Through the Axis of Evil

The London Logs: All the Bard You Can Shake-A-Speare At

The Author By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | July 14th, 2012 | Comments 1 Comment »

OK, as much as I want to claim it, credit for my title goes to my highly recommended chiropractor, Art Karno (www.TotalHealthMethods.com), proving that he cracks not only bones, but bad puns.

The First Edition of Shakespeare's Collected PlaysStratford has certainly maximized its Shakespearean roots. The playwright’s birthplace gets more than 1 million visitors/year, at least half of whom visited this afternoon while I was there. The house is cramped, as one might expect for a 16th century abode, although it was one of the largest of its times. John Shakespeare made his money the old-fashioned way: money-lending (he was accused of usury), hide-tanning and marrying well, before going into politics.The Bed Where Shakespeare was Born

Will grew up relatively privileged, married at 18 a pregnant 26-year-old Anne Hathaway, penned Henry VI, and the rest is history – or is history because friends of his posthumously published a collection of his works, thus saving the bard’s work for generations.

The unfortunate thing about the Shakespeare homestead is its overly commercialized entrance wing. Crowds are corralled from room to room that are dominated by giant movie screens. The original folio – said to be one of the most valuable books in the world – is in a case at the front of one room lit only when it is referenced in the movie. (I lingered behind as the group was ushered out so I could steal a photo.)

It was powerful, though, to walk upon the same stone floor that Shakespeare walked on! I could feel the energy coming up into my feet. Now, if I could only learn to write with my feet!

My favorite part of the “tour,” however, were the 3 actors reenacting scenes in the garden. In Shakespeare’s day, the courtyard was a smelly tannery, but today it is an outdoor interactive stage for talented actors to perform Shakespeare on demand."Romeo, Romeo, Wherefor Art Thou Romeo?" I requested MacBeth and one young lad requested Gnomeo & Juliet. It was magical watching how entranced the children were! As the crowd dispersed, I remarked to one of the actresses that I had thought about requesting Hamlet. She immediately sat on the adjacent bench and gave me a one-on-one “to be or not to be” soliloquy. She was so focused on me it was as if we were the only 2 people in Stratford. It was better than sex!

The house isn’t cheap: £13.50. Halve that by first taking the Stratford Town Walk (www.StratfordTownWalk.co.uk) for £5. Beside the excellent and informative 2-hour walk, you’ll be given 5 coupons for discounts to restaurants and attractions, including half-off the “birth house.” The house entrance fee also allows free entry to the Nash House (Shakespeare’s final home) and Croft’s Hall (where Will and Anne’s oldest daughter, Susanna, lived).

Although tonight’s Royal Shakespeare Company performance had been sold out and I couldn’t buy a ticket on-line, I bought a last-minute cancelled ticket this morning. So, this evening, I will see Richard III!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you found "The London Logs: All the Bard You Can Shake-A-Speare At" useful or interesting, please share it with others by bookmarking it at any of the following sites:
del.icio.us:The London Logs:  All the Bard You Can Shake-A-Speare At digg:The London Logs:  All the Bard You Can Shake-A-Speare At newsvine:The London Logs:  All the Bard You Can Shake-A-Speare At furl:The London Logs:  All the Bard You Can Shake-A-Speare At reddit:The London Logs:  All the Bard You Can Shake-A-Speare At Y!:The London Logs:  All the Bard You Can Shake-A-Speare At stumbleupon:The London Logs:  All the Bard You Can Shake-A-Speare At

One Response to “The London Logs: All the Bard You Can Shake-A-Speare At”

  1. Lell Ellerbee Sconce Says:

    Hi Kelly,

    Just read your British adventures through July 14th. Loving your writing and your adventures.

    You go, Girl!

    Love,

    Lell

Leave a Reply

If you have not commented here before, please take a moment to peruse our
Commenting Guidelines.

Pages
Categories
Monthly Archives
Travel links
My Links