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August 28, 2013 / magickittenblogs

Gabriel at The Globe

For my Mum’s birthday treat, she, Rob, Dad and I had a trip to London’s South Bank – we enjoyed a coffee and watched a little bit of athletics outside Tate Modern before heading to The Swan at The Globe, where we had a delicious meal.  We had a sort of Elizabethan-style tapas to begin, with onion omelette, potted trout, crusty bread, sweetcorn soup and a fresh salad with beautiful tomatoes, which would have been an exotic luxury.  For my main course, I had slow-roast Herdwick lamb breast with summer beans and mint pistou (sauce), which was absolutely gorgeous – the lamb was so tender, it almost melted.  Finally, for pudding, all of them sounded amazing, but I went for chargrilled rum bananas, toasted marshmallow, candied walnuts, banana ice cream and lime.  I know that sounds like a bizarre combination but it was fantastic, quite possibly the best pudding I’ve ever had. Seriously…

We then saw Gabriel, by Samuel Adamson, directed by Dominic Dromgoole.  From The Globe’s website:

Award-winning playwright Samuel Adamson brings a teeming world of intersecting narratives to the Globe stage with real & imagined characters: monarchs, prostitutes, wigmakers, composers, transvestites and watermen. Alison Balsom, one of the world’s finest trumpeters brings this world to life with the music of Purcell and Handel.

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting but I thought Gabriel was brilliant.  It’s a series of scenes which interconnect, characters crossing over, or actors playing another role, to create a feeling of an overflowing Baroque, Restoration London, full of colour, excitement, humour, tragedy, life and death.  At times I laughed out loud, but at others I was moved almost to tears.  The music, too, is extraordinary.  I’m not a fan of trumpets in particular, although I do love Baroque music, but I thought Alison Balsom’s playing was wonderful – it’s quite right that a trumpet can be warlike and brash but it can sing too, in the tenderest of tones.  It’s such a shame this didn’t have a longer run at The Globe because it was so unusual, full of vitality, that I just wish more people had been able to see it.  All in all, a brilliant day out.


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