KATHERINE NEVILLE’S Midsummer Night Newsletter June 20, 2016


Midsummer Night Newsletter
June 20, 2016

Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary!

I am just back from England & Belgium, finishing the last bits of research for my New Book! While in London, I was staying on Stratford Place, which reminded me that 2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. I mentioned, while lunching with my wonderful literary agents, Andrew Nurnberg & Associates, that since Shakespeare has a small walk-on part in my book, I’d like to go to the Globe Theatre and see one of my favorite Shakespeare plays: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They confirmed that all the performances, even standing room in the pit, were sold out. So I did what any creative writer would do: I had cocktails at the Connaught hotel (where I used to stay) and asked the concierge if he could get me reasonably-priced tickets. And he did!

It was the performance of a lifetime! So much fun that everyone on-and-offstage was dancing, singing, clapping, laughing. Shakespeare himself seemed to be among us, no longer a musty bard studied by stuffy scholars, but an official “King of Mirth,” a celebrant of the great midsummer Solstice!

(Find more about Solstice, the day when the sun stops and heads south, see my earlier newsletter: click here)

Ticket and Program for Midsummer Night’s Dream at Globe 

The World’s a Stage

The interior of the newly restored Globe, at below, is constructed of beams of Green Oak, the tree most sacred to the Druids.

Interior of new Globe Theatre
Modern Globe (bookcase)
at Victoria and Albert Museum

As Shakespeare seems well aware, tonight, Midsummer Eve, is one of the eight great Celtic fire festivals. It is a time suspended, as the sun prepares to “turn in its course,” a night when things turn topsy-turvy.

In the Languedoc (“Language of the Oak,” in the ancient Celtic tree language), Midsummer Night is ruled by the god of misrule, mischief and mirth (represented here by Puck) when anything after sunset can, and will, happen. But all is made right by dawn.

You can walk around and inside this globe that is really a bookcase without walls, at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

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