Globe Trip 2018, ‘Hamlet’: isn’t he a man? – Adam Warren

On Thursday 14th June, fourteen Year 12 Pupils and four of our American visitors accompanied the erstwhile Acting Head of English and the newly promoted Lt. Gould to London for the English department’s equivalent to the Iceland, Devon, Colchester Zoo, Berlin trips, a performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Mr Hodson demonstrated his ability to be almost as safety conscious as Mr Warren, with a comprehensive pre-trip brief, accompanied by handouts, maps and emergency contact details.

Once in London, we received a brief on road crossing and instruction on what the cohort would do in different contingencies, such as if the green man turned red or if the red man turned green. Half an hour of brisk walking followed (the gaps on tube platforms being considered too dangerous to mind) and Lt. Gould thoroughly enjoyed playing ‘yae or nae’ on gentlemen’s suited attire in the Capitol, not being satisfied apparently by a single outfit, with poor tie/shirt combinations, boring socks, belts with suits and bad haircuts all being consistent flaws. Lt. Gould, also marketed his Schoffel gilet, as the best piece of clothing ever. ‘Shy of stopping a round, it really is the only thing you need’.

We arrived and were given a short lunch shop before entering the Globe, an incredible building, and quite impressive. The following performance was three hours of a female Hamlet, a shaven Ben Arulampalam look-alike in a dress as Ophelia and lots of crying, all in the name of theatre. Most of the group, hadn’t even read Hamlet before so had an excuse for having no idea what they were witnessing, whilst the lit class unfortunate enough to be studying it desperately pretended to know what was going on. Even with Bella and Alice buying overpriced cushions, the theatrical comfort level was somewhat low, but we had nothing on our visitors from across the pond who stood for the entire duration.

A walk back to Liverpool Street at 5pm on a weekday, left us fighting through hordes of commuters whilst we strove to find dinner for less than £50 a sandwich. Eventually, supported by McDonald’s, we trekked back to school, relieved yet content that we had been culturally, academically, and sartorially enriched.

Our thanks must go to Mr Safety, the erstwhile acting Head of English, and Lt. Gould; it was, genuinely, a thoroughly enjoyable day out of lessons (or 5 study periods for some of us).

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