26 held a special event with Dominic Dromgoole, Patrick Spottiswoode, Peter Kyle, Yolanda Vazquez and John Simmons at the Globe Theatre on 31 August 2006. The main purpose was to galvanise into action at least some of the twenty-eight 26 members who have each been linked with one of Shakespeare’s original company of actors and one of the thirty-seven plays (and, in John’s case, the Sonnets). The reason? 26’s current project, an investigation into the enduring influence of Shakespeare on business writing, and more broadly into the role of language itself in the business world.
Having read Will and Me: How Shakespeare Took Over My Life, I was intrigued to hear more about Dominic Dromgoole’s role as artistic director at the Globe. I loved his description of ‘Globeness’, that rare feeling of recreating an ancient experience and at the same time creating a totally new experience that characterises the Globe’s approach. While it borrows from ‘authentic’ (a problematic word but there isn’t the space here…) Elizabethan theatre the shape, the standing audience and other elements that contribute so much to the historic ambience, it adds the modern theatre sensibility and production values that provide a truly contemporary feel. It is, of course, a balancing act, and if you get it wrong the very architecture “tells you off”.
Yolanda Vazquez provided revealing anecdotes from the actor’s perspective, while Globe MD Peter Kyle and educational director Patrick Spottiswoode filled us in on some of the history, outreach work and future plans of the
theatre and its educational foundation.
We 26ers swapped stories about the plays with which we’ve been matched and some of the inevitable anxieties arising from so testing a task. Not to mention finding out something about Shakespeare’s company of whom there were, so appropriately, twenty-six. One thing is clear – they were all multi-skilled individuals with diverse business and professional interests. Now, there’s a thought…