Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Shakespeare Institute and Guildhall Chapel

Shakespeare Institute and Guildhall Chapel
Stratford on Avon
April 2011

There is always so much to do and see in Stratford and sometimes its easier to focus on just a little bit. 

The new RSC - Stratford on Avon

This visit took us to the Shakespeare Institute, part of Birmingham University where the specialist Shakesperian studies are delivered. The Institute is a mere stones throw from the world famous RSC theatre on the banks of the River Avon, and to step through the portal takes you back 400 years to the time a young aspiring playwright boozed his evenings away.

Belle's Folly in the Shakespeare Institute garden

Belle has been a student at the institute for a couple of years and proudly showed me around the gardens, complete with the one up one down folly. She tells me that if she ever leaves me she will live in this folly, but I suspect that the lack of a kitchen or toilet could be its undoing.

The Doom on the Guildhall Chapel

The next stop was at the Guildhall Chapel where one of only three surviving Dooms is to be found. What is a Doom? I hear you cry. Well, is a painting which depicts heaven and hell and the selection process which takes place when the dead rise again on the sound of the final trumpet.
Apparently the doomed are led away by the bit of the body which brought about their downfall - which mostly appears to be the genitalia (no change there).

Artists impression of the Stratford Doom as it was

I was struck be the graphic horribleness of hell, but the lack of detail about heaven. It seemed to be all stick and no carrot and the over riding message seemed to be "whatever you do, you want to avoiding going to the warmer option!".

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