“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”
As You Like it (Act 2, Scene 7)
Tonight I attended the opening night of the Shakespeare: Staging the World exhibition at the British Museum with my father.
My Dad was the producer for The History of the World in 100 Objects and for Shakespeare’s Restless World on BBC Radio 4 and he was invited to attend this evenings opening night – I decided to see if I could tag along.
Shakespeare has influenced us all at one time of another, from studying Hamlet and Macbeth in school too watching Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet, almost everyone has studied one of his plays or read one of his sonnets. This exhibition showcases objects and people who were around and influenced William Shakespeare’s plays; it tells the story of why he wrote the plays he did and contextualises certain issues that influence major plot lines.
I am a big fan of the British Museum and a lot of the art galleries, theatres and museums around London – nothing is better that visiting these places and realising the world has been producing amazing history for thousand and thousands of years and that it will continue to do so.
I am also a big fan of seeing how certain events are managed and run. Tonight was no different. I finished work at 5.30 and headed down to the British Museum, outside the venue there were a couple of uniformed police men, a few security guards and 5 people with guests lists. The event started at 6.45pm and by 6.20pm there was an orderly queue forming outside the entrance – just before people were let in all guests in the queue were told to have their tickets out so they could be ushered in. If you didn’t have your ticket your name was checked against the guest list. A quick bag check was conducted and then once inside the museum your name was ticked of the list.
It was extremely well organised with no long queues and no problems – there were lots of staff around to answer any questions and it was easy to tell that they had done this plenty of times to know what works.
It was not that I was expecting anything but professional and efficient service from the BM, but rather I wanted to see how they manage an event with 600 people. At other events I have been to, including one at the Royal Albert Hall, the staff are no where near as well organised and the events didn’t always start on time.
If you have ever been to the British Museum before you will know that there is always enough staff on and they are able to answer most of your questions, with events it is vital that timings are kept and that the guests feel relaxed and at ease. Tonight the BM achieved that.
“He that hath a beard is more than a youth,
and he that hath no beard is less than a man.
He that is more than a youth is not for me,
and he that is less than a man, I am not for him.”
Much Ado About Nothing