A PISH on politics for a moment … My family frogmarched me into the rumbustious embrace of a certain Mr William Shakespeare this summer. Not once but twice.

We joined the other groundlings crammed in front of the stage to watch first The Tempest and then, on the last night, Twelfth Night.

I studied Shakespeare at A-level, like many, and memorised obscure speeches. I suffered Larry Oliver gurning his way through Othello and Henry V. The funniest Shakespeare moment at school was when a classmate recited one of Iago’s lines as ‘Gentle thoughts come from my paté’ instead of ‘Gentle thoughts come from my pate’. And that was that.

But these summer performances at the Rose Theatre in York have been transformational. At last I have really enjoyed the Bard. The 400 years between the writer and the audience slipped away to reveal vibrant, living plays about the timeless comedies of human existence. I loved every minute.

I’ll gladly join the leg-weary groundlings and mechanicals for a further feast next year.

Christian Vassie,

Blake Court, Wheldrake, York