No Fear – It’s Only Shakespeare!
On June 18, 2015, 43 very tired students and two highly motivated teachers went on a trip to experience Shakespeare. True to the maxim “the early bird catches the worm” we departed at 06:30 in the morning only to enjoy a rather nerve-wracking three-hour bus tour until we eventually reached our destination, the Shakespeare-Festival in Neuss.
Since a replica of the famous Globe Theater was built in the city of Neuss in 1991 an annual festival takes place where theater companies from literally all over the world perform their very own interpretations of popular or also even rather unknown Shakespearean plays. Therefore, this was our chance to catch a glimpse of the popular bard, not only by watching (or rather “hearing” – but we’ll come to that later) a play but by also getting an introduction into his time and becoming actors ourselves.
Miss Schormann, a dramatic advisor from Munich, led us through the Elizabethan Age. With a lot of wit she explained the strange circumstances of this time, guided us through the smelly city of London in the 16th century and finally brought us to the Globe Theater itself. Did you know that the penny stinkers in the Globe went wild when sneaking a peek of manly calves in stockings? Neither did we.
Additionally, visitors of the early Globe were not very interested in really watching the play – after all, there were better things to do – thus the Britons came up with the expression “(to) hear a play”; there were not many props on the stage to be seen anyway.
After having learned about the Globe, it was time to become actors ourselves. Miss Schormann taught us to act out a scene of “Romeo and Juliet” in English by warming us to the profession of acting which was indeed quite exciting. Of course, students of DS already acted close to perfection but also “the others” could find a way into the scene and after one hour the scene looked absolutely awesome and it was fascinating to see it evolve.
At 3 pm it was time to watch the play “Measure for Measure” in the Globe replica.
Yes, it is a hardly known play and yes, it was a bit strenuous to watch which might have been the reason why a few students rather heard the play than watched it (we’ll leave it like that, okay? Well, we did get up early after all, didn’t we.)
The staging was quite a handful although it absolutely served its purpose by leaving us mystified and thus talking about it until the next English lesson.
To my mind, it was very nice to get an introduction into the play by Miss Schormann first otherwise a few of us might have been a bit lost during the performance.
To put it in a nutshell, Shakespeare is worth watching / hearing even after 400 years and maybe the upcoming English major courses will watch / hear a better-known play at the Globe Theater in Neuss but all in all it was an exciting day at least the two highly motivated English teachers would not have liked to miss.