To London -2: Shakespeare’s Globe


→Images of Shakespeare’s Globe

On my third day in London, May 1st, it was drizzling and a bit chilly.

In the morning, I strolled through Hyde Park for about twenty minutes to Marble Arch. I visited the office of a British friend who had just returned from a two year post in Singapore for about an hour. At the beginning of this year, his firm opened a new office in Tokyo and I had seen him at a reception at the UK Embassy in Tokyo. However, it was nice to sit down and have a relaxed talk.

At noon, I met with Ms. Ninomiya, who is a graduate student studying Politics at the University of Oxford and who worked on the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) in its translation and editing team. She had just submitted her master’s thesis and is currently finishing up the year, with her final exams to be held at the end of June (for these past two years, she has translated many of the entries on this blog). From there, we went to Chatham House and met with the former UK Ambassador to Japan, Sir David Warren. We talked for around an hour regarding the conference that is to be held in Tokyo in October of this year. I saw former Ambassador Warren only two weeks ago when he visited Tokyo and my office at GRIPS. Afterwards, I met with Mr. Mizuno, who is a member of advisory committee on the Japan’s Cabinet “Japanese NIH” Plan and had just returned to the UK from a business trip. We had tea at his club on Pall Mall.

In the evening we attended a play at Shakespeare’s Globe.

The production was “Titus Andronicus”. It is said to be the most brutal of Shakespeare’s revenge plays. Former Ambassador Warren, who had also seen it two days before, shared with us that the reviews in the newspapers reported several members of the audience having fainted during the performance.

The play was a three hour long production, starting at 7:30 P.M. and ending at 10:30 P.M. As can be seen in the photos, rain was pouring into the theatre, which only had a makeshift roof and windows with wooden frames and therefore, was very cold. The members of the audience standing in the yard area in front of the stage (the tickets are around six pounds) seemed to come prepared knowing this and it was very ‘British’ way of doing things. Even so, they were very patient in enduring the rain and cold. The yard area is also used by the actors as an extension of the stage, so it must have been exciting for the audience.

It was quite late when the play ended but Ms. Ninomiya was able to return by taking the bus that runs between London and Oxford twenty-four hours a day, which must be convenient for students.

My flight the next morning was with Virgin Atlantic and the check-in desk at the airport, the service and the lounge were all quite good.