Globe theatre experience for Ashburton

The Globe Theatre

Ashburton’s home grown junior theatre company will shortly bring Shakespeare to Ashburton with its production of Twelfth Night.

Members of the Big Little Theatre Company recently returned from three weeks of theatre training at the Globe Theatre in London and wanted to bring the authentic Globe experience back to Ashburton said company director Jackie Heffernan..

The company will replicate as closely as possible every aspect of a Globe Theatre performance with an elaborate set design and a seating plan as would have been used back in the 1700s, she said.

Ashburton Event Centre manager Roger Farr said, he was approached by Heffernan with the idea of recreating the Globe within the venue.

“Having seen first hand the fun the audience had being in the Groundling or Pit of the Globe Theatre, after many discussions, it was decided that we too could have an area for Groundlings during their Twelfth Night season of performances,” he said.

Originally the Groundlings were generally made up of the poorer audience members, referred to as groundlings, who would pay one penny (which was almost an entire day’s wage) to stand in front of the stage, while the richer patrons would sit in the covered galleries, paying as much as half a crown each for their seats.

Theatre etiquette was a lot more boisterous back then with the Groundlings interjections being common place, making each performance an entertaining affair, as much for what was happening onstage as what was happening in the pit.

Twelfth Night is a sparkling comedic farce with love triangles, disguise and cross dressing.

It is about brother and sister twins, Viola and Sebastian shipwrecked off the coast of an Island (Illyria) and separated.

Each presumes the other dead.

Viola, the sister, must assume the identity of a man to earn a living in the home of Duke Orsino, whom she quickly falls in love with.

He is lovesick for the Lady Olivia who has sworn off men for seven years.

– Sue Newman