Shakespeare's Globe

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We are only doing two of the scheduled fortresses here in Oslo. One is called Oscarsborg, which is about 13 miles from Oslo in a little town called Drobak, and the other is Akershus, which is more in the centre of Oslo.

Transcript of Podcast

We are only doing two of the scheduled fortresses here in Oslo. One is called Oscarsborg, which is about 13 miles from Oslo in a little town called Drobak, and the other is Akershus, which is more in the centre of Oslo.

 

I found the first fortress, in Drobak, delightfully scenic. It was a little town with brightly coloured clapboards and quaint little houses, built along the side of the fjord. Drobak was made up of several islands and in the middle of one was a castle and that was our venue. Each day we would get on the little ferry that would take us to our island from the harbour at Drobak. We would trundle across the sparkling blue waters and get dropped off, go up to the castle, perform, and then come back again on the little ferry and have a delightful seafood meal overlooking the water; I think we all agree that we are having a pretty good time in Norway!

 

The Oslo venue is also very atmospheric and we have terrific audiences here. They are just really engaged and up for it, with an extraordinary command of English; it is actually really shaming! We chat to the audience before the show begins; we are there setting up props and getting used to the space a bit, whilst also breaking the ice with the audience. I said to some of the people in the front row, “you know, to us it’s amazing to think that your English is so good that you can sit here and watch Shakespeare when it’s a second language for you.” And they sort of looked back at me slightly perplexed and I thought maybe they didn’t understand, but actually they were slightly offended that I had regarded their English as being inferior to mine, because it clearly wasn’t! I think it is great that they are prepared to read and watch plays from another country, like Shakespeare, that we in Britain are perhaps less prepared.

 

As we have been going along with the tour I have focused more and more on different aspects of my character and her situation. I think I have now drawn into more of a motherly relationship with Hamlet rather than the Queenly one I had at the beginning. Maybe that has changed by being in some of these very warm and immediate spaces, like here in Oslo, but also I think it is just familiarity with the play and my fellow actors. The Willow Speech continues to be a challenge everywhere though I think. Poor old Hamlet has to soliloquise every 2 seconds, whilst I only have to do it once, so it always feels like a challenge each time to make that moment work.

 

The audiences are really great here. They have a liveliness about them which is reminiscent of the audiences back at the Globe. We are performing to a lot of young people who, for the most part, really stick with it. We like it, as all actors do, when we have a tangible feedback, rather than in more conventional theatre spaces where you have a traditional English theatre response; the audience are rather quiet and so you never really know if they like it or not. In Norway though, we certainly feel their engagement which is delightful. We have even had a standing ovation!

 

Amanda x

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