Thursday, 19 May 2016

#plaque366 Sam Wanamaker

A London plaque for every day in 2016. 

The plaques are selected from all walks of life, and all points of the London compass – and I'm taking requests too!

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Sam Wanamaker on The Globe Theatre, Bankside…

Is there a more provoking, a more moving, a more inspirational plaque anywhere in London than the one on the wall around Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre dedicated to Globe founder Sam Wanamaker?

Firstly, I love the openly emotive tone of the thing. These blue discs have scant space to tell a story, so often we are left with prosaic CV expressions of a life: Statesman, Physicist, Explorer – all great things to be. But here we have nothing less than a visionary. One doesn’t see many openings in the want ads for visionaries.

Secondly – and here’s the one that sticks in some British craws – it took an American to give us the living monument to the man who gave us our language. For this relief, much thanks.

Moving? Read the dates: Sam Wanamaker died four years before his beloved Shakespeare’s Globe opened to the public.

Inspirational? Easily. Shakespeare’s Globe was, in terms of Wanamaker’s lifetime, decades in the making. The moral of the tale: if you’ve got a good idea, DON’T take no for an answer.

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