If getting married is the sort of thing you like, you could do a lot worse than to do it in The Balcony Room at Shakespeare’s Globe. Particularly on an evening like this. The river is at the height of a full flood, and St. Paul’s is radiant in the light of the falling sun. Happy tourists flood the pavements below, tipsily holding hands. The puttering of boat engines mixes with the laughter on the streets and filters up through the balcony to where Beatrice and Avery celebrate their union with a few close friends. It’s idyllic.
I’m in disguise as a wedding guest, sitting by the river as the real guests eat, enjoying the evening sun. I’m technically at work so I can’t take one of the tempting champagne flutes at the reception. Myself and Ffion are getting to do beautiful things for money on their special day. So far we’ve shared some sonnets, delivered simply to happy people, and a Shakespearean call to dinner. In half an hour we’ll do some Beatrice and Benedick and then have a squabble, and then we’ll fall in love, finish with a shared Marriage of True Minds, toast the bride and groom and eat a burger. Nobody will be watching us eat the burger, I hope, but they’ll be there for the rest. It’s a delightful way to spend an evening and earn a crust and we’ve been doing it together here for long enough to have peace about it and focus on nuance and making it fun.
I hope we make their day more pleasant. A hell of a thing to do, getting married. It’s so far from my experience it seems another world. In my 20s and early 30s I was in long term relationships and that sort of thing seemed possible, but now it’s been so long since I’ve shared my existence with anyone but my friends.
I bet it’s going by in a blur for them both. I wonder what they’ll be able to remember tomorrow. They’ll be pumped to the gills with endorphins so probably very little. We haven’t finished yet, so one of us might make it more memorable by exploding or dropping dead, but most likely we will just be a little more colour in a colourful day.
They are hoovering up their dinner, bless them. Eating like hungry piggies. The faster they eat the sooner I get my burger. I’ve been on again already. One more scene to go. I just did a load of Benedick, which is really just an opportunity to flirt with the guests. It speaks to me, now, Benedick’s character journey. I’ve done Much Ado thrice, first as Don John, then Borachio and then Don Pedro. I’d like a crack at Benedick. I’m curious to find out if I fall in love again some time. I think I can now. I took my heart out of its box a while ago and I’m trying to remember how it used to work. Right now it’s flapping around on the table and occasionally barking. But I’ll work it out. “May I be so converted and see with these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not: I will not
be sworn, but love may transform me to an oyster…”