Sunday, September 25, 2005

Wooden O's and Pythons

Just started looking at a new book Shakespeare's Globe Rebuilt edited by J. R. Mulryne and Margaret Shewring. A lot of the ground is familiar, but an essay by Andrew Gurr gives a new slant on the importance of the Second Blackfriars Theatre. In my own book London Theatre Walks I do mention that Shakespeare's company was hard pressed to find a new theatre in 1596. When the use of the newly remodeled Blackfriars was denied to the company, they had to look elsewhere for a new home. Luckily they found Bankside and built what came to be known as the Globe. Gurr, as usual, catches the real drama of the situation as he notes that if Shakespeare's group had been allowed to move into the remodeled Blackfriars, they probably would never have built the Globe at all. Thinking about that boggles the mind and shakes the very foundations of the "Shakespeare Industry" as we know it. Would there have been a Southwark revitalization or would it have been as strongly cultural in nature had there not been a Globe on Bankside? Would the remains of the Rose have been sufficient to fuel the current economic growth? Would Sam Wanamaker have been drawn into what became a thirty year quest to build a replica on the banks of the river? Sometimes we just have to thank our lucky stars that conservative local authorities are balky about allowing unruly actors and their less than savory public entertainments in certain parts of our cities.

While we are on the other side of the pond.

Monty Pythons Flying Circus has been on my lovable list since the early 70's when a year in London gave our family a whole new bag of "favourites" including such Brit Icons as Blue Peter, Dr. Who, and the Wombles of Wimbledon. John Cleese's latest ode to REVOCATION can be found at

From the Sunday paper. How can you tell a coward from a hero?
Check the direction they are running.


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