Tomorrow, I'm escaping my daily lessons - much to the chagrin of my Theology teacher - to hijack a trip to the Globe Theatre in London, to see an all-male cast do an authentic production of "Twelfth Night". Being the unashemed nerd and Shakespeare fangirl that I am, I'm beyond excited - not in the least because the brilliant Stephen Fry is playing Malvolio . . . I can only hope that the sight of him in tight yellow stockings doesn't send my brain into fits of disturbed hysteria.
However, as it's winter and the British weather is being true to form and blasting us with merry deluges if wind and rain every other second, the performance takes place in the Globe's indoor venue. I've seen the London Royal Shakespeare Company at work before, this summer, when my grandad took me to an open-air production of "Henry V".
The look of false horror on the retreating monarch's face was a truly golden moment.
But it's not just the plays that bring millions of toursits flocking to Britain's most famous theatre every year. While I may be a devotee of The Bard, I was definitely the youngest person in the audience that night.
What makes the Globe special is its heritage, and what it means for people on the whole.
The Globe is a beautiful theatre, and the exhibitions in its cellar are among the most incredible I've seen anywhere - even though the audio guide had a horrible habit of loosing very loud trumpet noises at unexpected moments. Everything down there is authentic, and created with such an obvious passion and eye for emphasis and effect, that you can tell whoever set it up was positively barking mad about their job.
The displays aren't just about the plays themselves, either. They're about London, the London that Shakespeare and his companies lived and moved in, the people they met, the things they did and saw and smelt.
Every costume you see was once worn by someone.
Every rusty knife was once nestled in someone's pocket.
Every coin was once cursed over when it slipped from someone's purse.
And the Globe brings it all to life. You'll see replicas of those costumes, that knife, those coins, passing between the hands of the actors on stage just as they were a hundred years ago. And it makes it all so much more real.
It's not just men in tighst prancing about spouting colourful insults at each other. It's our past, acted out in front of us, complete with funny accents, even funnier swordplay, and jokes so lewd you wonder how people could ever call Shakespeare "sophisticated".
It's the present, bringing the past to life.
~ Charley R