Shakespeare in the Park

May 31, 2010

Every year, one of Shakespeare’s plays is staged in Forest Park, and indeed, a special area called “The Glen” is now set aside for this purpose. Last year it was “Merry Wives of Windsor” which I don’t really care for very much…so I just went along, had a look at the excellent stage sets and costumes and came home.

But this year….it’s one of my favourites.


Shakespeare Festival

kicked off a few days ago, and if you click on the link, you can understand what a great production it is. We were told that 500 volunteers worked very hard to make it happen!

Also, the production is free for the viewing public throughout its run, and it’s the sponsors and donations from the viewing public that help to “Keep Will Free”….as the volunteers chanted last year as they moved amongst the audience with their baskets, “Give of your free will to keep Will free.”! St.Louis is fantastic in this respect…all the museums (except selected exhibits), the Zoo, some performances of the St.Louis Philharmonic, part of the seating at the Muny….all are free. This is just incredible!

I'd arranged to meet Malvika and her mother Neelima at the parking the fifteen minutes I waited for them, the little pondlets of water near the parking lot attracted so many birds that I will need to do a post on them! But anyway we went off. and at 7pm (the play begins every evening at 8 sharp) we were hard put to find a space where we could spread out our dhurries, but we managed. Before the show, performers were walking around the audience, entertaining them. Here are some musicians, dressed in Elizabethan costumes: musicians 290510 Juggling" Jeff Koziatek walked around with scimitars and juggling bottles: juggling jeff koziatek 290510 and Josh Routh, the "sword-swallowing clown" held everyone spellbound, juggling flaming torches Josh Routh fire-eater clown and then eating fire: (sorry about that viewer completely blocking the view!) It was fun watching who else had come to see the play, it included this HUGE Mohawk: mohawk in the audience 290510 I didn't have the courage to get up and go closer to get a picture :) Of course the play opened with Hamlet's father's ghost making an appearance, and very impressive it was! hamlet's father's ghost The costumes were very lavish, too, here are Ophelia and her father Polonius: ophelia and her father polonius 290510 The lighting of the castle set was just amazing; contrast the colours in the various photographs! set and lighting 290510 Here are the cast members, taking a bow at the end: cast taking bows 290510 And here WE are, enjoying ourselves with quite a lot snacks that A and M brought, and the masala chai that I made: neelima malvika 290510 (photo by DS) Er, the guy at the lower left-hand of the photo isn't...dead, he's just enjoying a nap during the interval! It was a wonderful evening; Biddles was at her best-behaved; sat on the dhurry, wanted to have (water) from exactly the same cups that we were having chai from, ate her cereal, and went peacefully to sleep!

As we walked back to the History Museum over the slopes of Art Hill, this “sandalwood moon” added to the beauty of the night:

sandal moon 290510

“Sandalwood” is my nickname for

Chandan …so I was thinking of him!

How lucky I am, to be able to witness a fantastic production in such a beautiful setting as Forest Park!