Would you ever have imagined that the Globe would decide to have zip wires, abseiling soldiers and a(slightly shouted) rendition of The Clash’s ‘London Calling’? No. Me neither.
What a shame it was to have to sit through such a forced spectacle. At least I managed to; unlike 4 others who fainted (probably due to disbelief or boredom)!
Anyway enough negatives… Gina McKee played the powerful, strong and menacing Boudica. For those of you that do not know the story of Boudica, she was a Welsh/British Celtic Queen, with famous auburn hair, who led an uprising against the Roman Empire’s forces that where occupying England. This all took place in 50 AD something (so not too long ago!). What the play lacked to enlighten its audience with was the fact that Boudica, and her warriors, did in fact conquer the RomanNinth Legion and managed to destroy the capital of Roman Britain, then at Colchester. With all the rebel forces joined together, they went on to reclaim London and Verulamium (St Albans) albeit with many, many casualties amongst her troops.
Reflected in the play, it was clear to see that Boudica would never voluntarily become a prisoner of war, hence the poison that led to her death, and the representation of a goddess coming down a zip wire wearing a space helmet. I mean, I don’t know about you but it all makes perfect sense. Right?One issue the play highlighted was the cruelty experienced by her daughters. The Romans really were abusers towards them; raped by many of the soldiers and watching their mother whipped and bleed out was disturbingly accurate. To be honest, the only time I could really see genuine pain and true emotion was from this scene. The actors had been, in my opinion, completely miscast. Each actress was a talented individual, but were they threatening? No. Imagine a little French bulldog. Bit ugly and scary but actually so damn cute and cuddly. That’s how I can compare them.
The most exciting thing was to see that “The Weekend’s” hairstyle made an appearance! Repping the style was Abraham Popoola whom I must admit was very, very good. He was perfectly cast. An absolute giant who overpowered both physically and with his quality of acting. He of course stood out like a sore thumb. Misplaced amongst lots of shorties who weren’t threatening at all!
In terms of commenting on the overall show… I don’t really know where to start. It was messy, disorganised and “too-much too-soon”. I personally felt as though I had sat down, expecting the group of middle aged women behind me (with 4 bottles of wine between them) to be the only nuisance. Instead, it was the unintentional hyperbolic sighs, the loud music, the zip wires, and the female playing a male soldier that frustrated me. It turned in to a right laugh with the women behind me as we simply couldn’t understand the goddess in the space suit.
Scene It Tip 1) Explore the Globe’s other Theatre. The Sam Wanamaker has emerging new shows all in a candle lit environment.
Sadly… I don’t really have any advice other than not to watch it if you want authentic theatre.