To go or not to go – That is the question

To go or not to go

Earlier this month my partner and I spent a couple of nights in Stratford-upon-Avon. She found a cheap deal for Premier Inn and we love Stratford anyway as we have been so many times. There is a lot do there, more than you could possibly imagine. We have visited the grave of Shakespeare on previous occasions, this is worth a look  as the inscription is interesting to read. A word in your ear if you do go to visit his grave expect to pay a donation of £3.00 to walk down the aisle. It always struck me as strange where you are expected to pay a donation to visit somewhere when my understanding of a donation is a gift or something you choose to give. I am not sure you would be allowed in some places with giving donation (fee) or maybe I am just being tight.

On our visit to to Stratford we went with no real plans on what to do when we got there. Obviously we ate out and looked around the town. We also visited Tudor World while we were there too. We had thought about looking around Tudor World before but on other occasions we always had other plans. While we were in Stratford we decided to look at what was on at the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) as they always have two or three plays running at once. Hamlet was playing and the lead part of Hamlet was played by Paapa Essiedu. When we checked out the ticket prices they were around £45.00 for the cheapest tickets. To our surprise we found that was matinée in which it was all the understudies playing the parts. the ticket prices was £10.00 and the show lasted around 3 hours. But this isn’t about the price as going to the RSC theatre is worth the money.
The theatre is very intimate and you sit very close to the stage and you can see every expression and every syllable that the actors speak. I find the stage absolutely incredible, I would describe as a bit like Dr Who’s Tardis, it is deceptively large. it moves, changes, adapts. It rises up, it descends it opens up and it closes. I found the who play mesmerising not just the actors who were brilliant, funny and emotional but also how the stage was changed and adapted to every scene change. I cannot put in words how amazing the whole atmosphere is you have to go and find out for yourself. We have now seen Galileo, which was written by Bertolt Brecht, Shakespeare’s Winters Tale and now Hamlet at the RSC and I feel I have been enriched by the experience, and that is exactly what it was, an experience.

If you have never studied William Shakespeare’s plays don’t worry my partner and I haven’t either. I have a secret to share with you if you are worried that you may not understand what is going on do what we did! We bought a children’s book on all Shakespeare’s plays and then read about the it before we went which was called ‘Illustrated stories from Shakespeare’. When we got there we understood the story and what was going to happen.

Are you worried you won’t understand the language? you might like us find some of the words to understand or phrases difficult to understand, such as With an auspicious and a dropping eye, With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage, In equal scale weighing delight and dole…” but don’t worry the context of the play, the players expression and scene will make it all ver clear and I guarantee you will enjoy it.

Do I believe I have benefited from seeing a Shakespeare play? Yes definitely, I have memories of a wonderful afternoon and a greater understanding of what Shakespeare was about! Would I go again? Yes definitely! In fact we have even bought DVD’s of some of the RSC plays too. One tip if you decide to buy a RSC DVD check the price online first as they can be quiet expensive at the theatre.

“To be, or not to be, that is the question:  Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them. To die—to sleep,
No more…”

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