Instead of “Where’s Waldo,” in London you can play “Where’s Shakespeare?” Almost everywhere you go, there’s a Shakespeare sighting of one kind or another. (By the way, there is actually an Usborne book called Where's Will that works the same as the Waldo books, except with William Shakespeare!)
The most obvious Shakespeare sighting is The Globe Theatre. I’ll talk about it more in another post. But it’s not the only Shakespeare game in town!
In Leicester Square (pronounced Lester for some odd reason), there is a statue of the Bard in the middle of a splash pad. That was a bit unexpected!
Down from the New Globe Theatre, we found the original location of The Rose Theatre. (I know that TECHNICALLY that doesn’t count as a Shakespeare sighting - but he had to have known people there or watched shows there or at least walked by it, so I think it counts!) They have recently unearthed the foundation of it, and we were supposed to be able to look at that, but somehow we couldn’t find it.
We also saw the original site of The Globe Theatre, with a bronze plaque commemorating the Globe’s original location and dates - which are incorrect on the plaque. They’ve put paving stones on the ground in the shape of part of the Globe to show you where it would have been.
Just down the way a bit is The Anchor pub. It is one of the places that Master Shakespeare liked to go to have a pint after a rehearsal or performance. It was too expensive to eat there, so we settled for a photo. :-)
As we were going around a corner, lo and behold, a giant mural of - whom else - good old Will, himself!
Our next stop was in Southwark Cathedral. There is a memorial stained glass window with pictures from Shakespeare’s plays, and a reclining statue of him below that. His brother is buried in the center of the choir area.
We even found Shakespeare things while we were taking a tour of the West End - the equivalent area to our Broadway. We saw a shop that had a painting of an advertisement from an 1835 production of Taming of the Shrew. We also found a theatre that is performing King Lear with Ian McKellen in the lead role. Wish we could see that one! But it’s too expensive - and most likely, sold out!
Today’s find was in the National Portrait Gallery. The quintessential portrait of William Shakespeare is there, and we got to see it!
I’m sure there will be many more sightings to come - especially once we get to Stratford-Upon-Avon next week! That will be nothing but The Bard! Until then - may The Bard be with you!