Taking in a spot of English culture

A couple of weeks ago I spent a lovely weekend with my best friend in Stratford upon Avon – the home of Shakespeare.  Despite only living three and a half hours away, I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been before.  We didn’t know what to expect, but thought we’d give it a go as it’s steeped in history, and also is equidistant from where we both live, which is at opposite ends of the country.

My friend suggested we see Macbeth at the Royal Shakespeare Company theatre.  I was a bit unsure about this.  I haven’t seen any Shakespeare since I was a teenager and studied The Merchant of Venice.  I enjoyed seeing the stage performance at the time, but assumed that was mainly because I’d studied the text so understood it.

I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Macbeth – I didn’t really know the story, and assumed the ancient language would make it impossible to understand.  During the first 20 minutes this is exactly how I felt, but then everything fell into place, and although I can’t profess to have understood everything, the gist of the story was clear, and the acting and action on the stage made it much easier to grasp.

We both ended up really loving it, and we discovered, albeit inadvertently, that for a tenner you can have a standing position.  We hadn’t realised at the time of booking we didn’t have seats – we just thought we’d bagged ourselves a bargain!

We didn’t manage to get some seats in the second half, although if we hadn’t it wouldn’t have mattered, as we forgot we were standing once we got engrossed in the performance.

The RSC is a very modern theatre with some great staff, and is well worth a visit.

One of the other highlights of the weekend was a trip to Four Teas – a war-time themed cafe, where we had afternoon tea.  Well worth a visit!

The rest of the weekend was spent shopping, and having our hair done.  Much eating and drinking also took place.

Picture shows Shakespeare’s birthplace.

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