The Summer Shakespeare Festival at the Prague Castle is in its tenth year. Three plays alternate in the historic, open-air courtyard of the Burgrave Palace, just off of the Golden Lane. I went to see Othello last week and, surprisingly, had a great time. I say surprisingly because I don’t think of myself as someone who would appreciate, let alone enjoy sitting through two hours of a classical drama – I should add that going to the festival was not my idea.
I didn’t sit through Othello. I spent two hours in a state of utmost concentration with my eyes glued to the stage, trying not to miss a word, forgetting to shiver with cold in the chilly, autumn-like evening air. I fidgeted through the seemingly unending intermission, wishing they had skipped it. I left looking forward to next year’s festival and making mental notes on how to better prepare to make the most out of the experience. 1. Definitely get tickets for the first zone, which means 2. Buy tickets at least a month in advance, 3. Arrive an hour before the start of the show to get good seats, 4. Bring a pillow to put on the seat of the hard metal chair for softness and insulation; if the weather’s similar to that of August 25, 2006: 5. Bring a winter jacket, 6. Wear high boots, 7. Pack a blanket to put over my lap.
The festival started on June 21 and will continue through September 10. Plays start at 8:30 p.m. and end around 11 p.m. More info at www.shakespeare.cz.