I was pretty gutted when I missed out on tickets to see one of my favourite actors do a reading at the Globe last year but perhaps due to the great response they've decided to repeat the performance this winter not only once but six times, yay! Seeing as I was not about to take any chances this time, I booked tickets the first day they went on sale and managed to secure second row seats on the opening night. The reading is held at the Sam Wanaker Playhouse, a newer, completely indoor theatre next to Shakespeare's Globe, which uses candlelight as it's only form of illuminance. My first time at the Playhouse was seeing The Duchess of Malfi (starring Gemma Arterton) in early 2014 and I fell in love with it's old fashioned wooden decor, though I have to admit, the benches aren't the most comfortable after the two hour mark.
Feargal Murray plays a beautiful introduction on the piano before Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones, The Wire) takes to the stage in a tuxedo and starts the story. Possessing a rather short attention span, I often find readings can get a bit boring after a while but let me tell you this was not the case with this one and I'm 99% sure that I'm not biased. Though perhaps it had everything to do with Aidan Gillen's narration, which is captivating to the point where I'm not sure whether he is the world's best storyteller or... I'm just biased. Anywho, his narration is a far cry from the quieter muttering I'm used to hearing in press interviews and such, and accompanied periodically by the soaring piano accompaniment, he really takes you deep into the story and encompasses the world around you so much so that you can almost taste the food that is being served at the dinner party. By the end, the short story felt entirely too erm, short, though it stayed with me for quite a long while after. It's quite interesting how much laughter you can get out of the audience from such a realist and ultimately dark piece of literature too.