Sunday, June 04, 2017

London Sorrow

The beasts are abroad and they kill and maim with no regard. The London Bridge/Southwark terrorist strike on London has come far too close to my heart—even for  a guy who was shepherding  students around the city years ago during ‘the troubles.”  My heart goes out to the victims whether they be British citizens, expats, immigrants, or tourists because this is a signature route that I have taken at least a hundred times over the past fifty years. It is to a theatre person about as sacred a walk as any in the artistic universe.

Crossing  London Bridge is a  part of the first chapter in my London Theatre Walks book,  You are asked to pause in the middle of the (latest) London Bridge and imagine the medieval bridge and its view upstream toward old St. Pauls and downstream toward the Tower. You are asked to  see the men of Will Shakespeare’s company carting the timbers of their old Theatre across the river and using them to assemble a new theatre on Bankside, which is now remembered as The Globe.
The walk then takes you into Southwark and past the Borough Market and into Southwark Cathedral, where you might now feel obligated to leave a prayer.  

You will learn that Shakespeare paid there for a funeral bell tolling for his dead brother and you will also find there a handsome memorial to Shakespeare.  You will leave the church and walk along the shore for more views that the Bard would still remember.

 And finally you would come upon the re-constructed Globe itself.      

 We mourn the lives taken here by a slaughter in the name of holiness and we mourn all destruction of human life and culture wherever it might occur.  William Shakespeare walked this path and the killers have befouled his  memory.

Courage and comfort,
All shall yet go well” 

King John

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