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May 11, 2016 posted by Chris Leigh-Currill

Shakespeare (or ‘Bill’ as we like to call him)…

As it’s the 400th anniversary of  Shakespeare’s birth this year I thought we couldn’t let it pass without doing a little something about him. I asked the boys if they wanted to go and see The Globe Theatre in London (They’d seen the film ‘Bill’ and seen a lot of Horrible Histories so know about the Globe and a little about Shakespeare) and they both really wanted too.

After a cab ride (I can’t do the underground with the 3 of them as my anxieties just couldn’t cope!) we arrived and as the day was a beautifully sunny one The Globe looked amazing.

We bought tickets for the last tour of the day -they had a performance later that afternoon – and waited for our guide to come and get us.

After a quick initial chat about how the tour was to proceed we made our way across to the Globe entrance door.

The boys walked in to ‘Wow!!! This is awesome!’ and I really thought it was too.

Here’s the ‘picture by the stage’ picture that I think everyone takes.

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Looking around the massive oak structure was just awe inspiring and looking up to the fabulously blue sky with the balloons (‘blooooons!’ as Little Miss F said) that were moving in the breeze added to the magic as they were huge and noisy and crashing and bashing into each other.

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We moved over to the cheaper seats (but the most expensive in Elizabethan times as they preferred to hear the performance whereas we prefer to see it and sit opposite the stage rather than to the side) and I loved seeing the steps thinking would anyone really mind if I just popped up them and onto the stage? (Yes they would have as the guide had made that very apparent!)

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Here’s one of the stage. It was the set for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Here’s the stage with the actors warming up for the performance later that day. We were told the last part of our tour was to be a ‘quiet tour’ where we watched the actors rehearse and the boys thought this fab.

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Little Miss F was less impressed and I was a bit worried about how she would be as she is fond of shouting ‘HI!!!!’ at people very loudly but she did really well. I gave her a wipe and she ‘cleaned’ the bench we were sat on as this is very much her thing at the moment.

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We’ve continued our work at home. I bought A Midsummers Night’s Dream books from the Globe shop; a simple one for T and a bit more challenging version for H. We also bought some feather quills and some ink ready to try to write like Shakespeare did.

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T really got stuck in with the quill and soon found out that it wasn’t as easy as you might think to write with a feather quill. The ink runs out quickly and you have to dip it again, you really (‘really Mummy!’) can’t make any spelling mistakes as you can’t rub out and the nib is hard to write with and also noisy!

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Today we started to read the books together. T read his first couple of pages and so did H. We looked at what was happening in the stories and talked about the similarities and differences (they are surprisingly different) between the two books. I wrote some simple questions and they both wanted to answer writing with the quills which was lovely. Yes the writing isn’t great at all but H wanted to write which never happens so I was more than happy for him to use whatever he wanted to get his ideas out.

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We did have some ink blot issues, a nib that split occasionally and a worry that either the new puppy or Toddler would knock the ink over but apart from that the boys really liked using the quills and proudly showed Hubbie their work.

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We talked about where the part both stories had got to – where Hermia was to meet Lysander in the woods later that evening – and H said that when stories ‘go into the woods it’s never going to be good’ as he said that Little Red Riding Hood had trouble. I said yes that was true of The Wind in the Willows (we had listened to the previous week) and Tobes said that The Jungle Book was the same too. Because of this we all thought that the story wasn’t going to be a happy one! We shall see if the boys are right.

They don’t have a huge understanding of what they have read as both books are different and we haven’t read a lot and it’s also quite confusing as to who loves who and who doesn’t. To help them visualise what’s going on on I’m going to use the old peg dollies that I’ve had for a while and get the boys to make the characters out of them as we move through the play. They can then make little sets and act out the play with the peg characters to help them visualise what it happening.

They can’t wait to get to the where the character ‘Bottom’ comes into the story.

Much giggling will be had I’m sure!

They are young to tackle Shakespeare but they want to and are enthusiastic so we’ll carry on and see where the story takes us.

The puppy was found after the boys had finished napping on the paper.

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I think he likes a bit of Shakespeare too…

 

 

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