23 September 2011

Shakespeare Theatre

The tour of Shakespeare Theatre was quite good but I could have done with going round on my own to assimilate everything. Tour guides are useless if they can't make themselves heard. We were in groups of 20, but 10 would have been better.

I was interested in the bank of computers that did everything on stage. We watched chandeliers being lowered and the stage rising and falling. Even the rows of seats were computer operated. The guide said if they wanted a forest scene all they had to do was download the trees from the store in the ceiling. Everything up there was suspended on ropes.

The first thing I did when I walked into the main theatre (there are two) was look up. I have a thing about ceilings! Well I’ve seen studios with umpteen cameras and lights but I’ve never seen a collection of fixtures and fittings before. It was amazing.

Photography was not allowed during the tour, which was when it was needed. Bah! All I could get was a few shots of the exterior and a few round the gift shop area. I was told later (damn) that everything was on postcards which were on sale in the shop. Now they tell me!

A few of us ambled round the historic town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Most of it is quaint but commercialism has crept in - the big supermarkets filled one of the major roads. Although I have visited Stratford many times there is always something new to discover, alleyways tucked away between buildings, only noticed if you were dawdling and your head was turned in the right direction.

I came across one delightful passageway that was stuffed full of ancient artifacts but there was such a crowd there it was difficult to take pictures. I was thwarted whenever I tried.

Oh well, maybe you’ll get a flavour of the place with these. First are shots of the theatre building.

The little houses on the right are where the players stay
An invitation to go up the tower
The tower from the outside ... the trip up wasn't included in the tour.
The theatre is right in front of the River Avon
The view from the cafe balcony. The cafe was the main entrance to the theatre before refurbishment.
The gift shop
A display of stage costumes
Advertising Macbeth
Another river shot. Swans, goslings and year old swans were there in abundance
From a performance of As You Like It ... a picture on the wall, so high I nearly missed it.
More stage costumes hanging ... just for show
The second theatre is called The Swan ... this is a fountain showing silver swans and beneath is the record of inauguration

Into the town. First, a toy shop.
Isn't he cute?
How much is that doggy in the window? The dog was interested in something moving on the far side of the window... a fly or maybe a mouse! He attracted quite a gathering of people.
Shots of olde worlde buildings

This is the quaint passageway I mentioned. I love these old places.

Put this in for Faye!
Another passageway full of trendy boutiques

Centrally heated umbrellas! I've never seen these before.
Fascinating array of goodies in this shop window
Street scenes

That's it. I hope you enjoyed the tour of Stratford.


  1. Enjoyed that tour Valerie. I am going to have a go at making a bench like that. Without the no smoking sign though.

  2. Oh John, I thought the no smoking sign enhanced the bench... grins. Glad you enjoyed the tour.

  3. oh I absolutely did enjoy the tour, what a treat! I didn't realize so much of modern stage sets are software driven. Pretty amazing. And the surrounding town is really charming, trendy boutiques and all. Ancient cobblestones and a heated cafe umbrella. What more could anyone ask for? Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos! ~diane

  4. nice your pics...some awesome archiecture...and the stone streets are cool too...cute pups in the window....

  5. poindextr, I'm so glad you enjoyed the tour, Diane. I admit I was quite taken with the heated umbrella.

    Brian, Stratford is a nice town so long as we keep away from new additions like supermarkets.

  6. Thank you for the tour! The theaters are magnificent!

  7. *clapping*

    Valerie, I'm LOVIN' this post!!!

    What faaaaaaaaabulous photographs! It's like stepping back in time!

    I'm sitting here thinking, "I so wish I could have been there with you!"

    Love the photo of the yorkie in the window - how CUTE! Love the one of the cat too!

    "but I could have done with going round on my own to assimilate everything. Tour guides are useless if they can't make themselves heard."

    I feel the same way about tours. Either they're too fast (and I can't assimilate everything) or they're too slow (and I get bored). That's why whenever I take a tour of a museum, I usually like to do it on my own if possible.

    Thanks SO MUCH for sharing your day, dear lady. I totally enjoyed it!

    That's one of major things I love about Europe - the rich and deep history!

    Have a lovely Saturday!


  8. Ron, I knew you'd like a trip to the old town. We have so many like this and I love them all. The quaintness is what gets to me. Unfortunately we couldn't do a tour on our own... not allowed. I can understand it because behind the scenes was quite busy and we would have got in the way. Oh well, I did what I could.

  9. Impressive building, Val. Shame about the postcards.

  10. I definitely enjoyed seeing your tour of Stratford.
    Macbeth has always been a favorite, however, I haven't read alot of Shakespeare. Time to get that big old book out and give it another try maybe.
    Loved all the quaint shops. I think it all made for a perfect day trip.

  11. Hi CrystalChick. I must admit I haven't read much of Shakespeare's work and yet I know most of the stories. I'm so glad you enjoyed seeing Stratford through my eyes.

  12. I enjoyed the tour now I want to go for real. I hope to make it to England one day and see some sights like the Shakespeare Theatre. Looks like a nice town to just walk around in too. Explore parts outside the tourist part of town.

    Dan the Mountain Man
    Mountain Highs and Valley Lows

  13. yes I really enjoyed the tour, thank you. You've got some really lovely pictures of your visit and I'm sure you can get hold of the postcards if you really want to. I expect they'd sent you some if you rang them up?

  14. great tour Val...
    I would have been disappointed to..
    not being allowed to photograph...
    its all about money ... they just want to keep the market on everything.

  15. Thanks for the tour, I enjoyed it! I love the crooked bricks on the street and the lovely swans!


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