I felt that I should open my historical travels through Busch Gardens the Old Country by beginning in the Hamlet of England. More precisely, I should start with the original show featured in the Globe Theater back in 1975, which would be The Ghosts of the Globe.
Granted I wasn’t even conceived when this show first ran, but I was fortunate enough to experience the show first-hand when I was but a wee tike. The show left quite the impression on me as I still recall how much I enjoyed the show; even if I was terrified through most of the performance.
Basically the story of Ghosts of the Globe centered on a young girl named Melinda, who wonders into an empty theater. Suddenly she begins seeing visions of fabulous characters that embrace her into the world of Shakespeare until the witch from Macbeth appears along with the creature from the Tempest who both bring forth terrifying special effects that scare poor Melinda (as well as my four year old self). By the end of the story, Melinda finds the courage and kindness to save the day.
It was a fun production and the entire performance lasted approximately 40 minutes. I ran into one of the actors who played in Ghosts of the Globe and he mentioned that most of the performance was lip-synced to a prerecorded dialogue and the sound effects and visual effects were quite elaborate for the time.
Thank you for your interest and I hope you enjoyed going back to Ghosts of the Globe at Busch Gardens, the Old Country. Feel free to share your experiences or memories of Ghosts of the Globe in the comment section below.
**With that said, here is a complete story found on the back of the original 1974 Ghosts of the Globe album cover along with the credits to the creators:
On the banks of Virginia’s James River, just a few miles from historic Colonial Williamsburg, lies Busch
Gardens-The Old Country. Screened from Twentieth Century by the Tidewater Woods, its winding cobblestone streets invite visitors to explore over seven centuries of our European heritage.
If you wonder through the English Village at The Old Country, some summer afternoon, visit the impressive reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater there. It is on the stage of this theater where our story takes place.
Or perhaps, we should say Melinda’s story, since she is the name of the very pretty young lady that happens to be the heroine of our tale.
And what a strange and marvelous tale it is that begins to unfold when Melinda finds herself alone in a deserted theater. A wandering minstrel that appears out of thin air! A ghostly banquet, attended by ghosts of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters! Here are Sir Andrew Aguecheek and Sir Toby Belch, those clumsy clowns from Twelfth Night. Here is portly King Henry the VIII, and Dame Ford, one of the Merry Wives of Windsor. The job if entertaining the guests falls to Puck, the magical mischief-maker from a Mid-Summer Night’s Dream. And, to Melinda’s delight, she finds Romeo among the guests, still romantic and dashing after nearly four hundred years.
Then, just as Melinda is beginning to feel at ease with her ghostly companions, their merry-making is interrupted by the appearance of the witch from Macbeth and Caliban, the slimy monster from the Tempest. Dark sorcery turns the theater into an arena of sinister and terrifying occurrences. Even, Prospero, the kindly wizard from the Tempest, finds it dangerous to oppose these two masters of evil. In the great battle of sorcery that follows, he very nearly falls before Caliban’s power. It is Melinda, herself, with a courageous act of kindness, who finally restores harmony to the spirit world of the Globe and winds the gratitude of the theater’s ghosts.
Melinda’s fellow actors laugh at her story of ghosts and demons. A dream, they call it. Nothing more than a young girl’s imagination working overtime. Of course, we know they’re right. Spirits? Sorcery? Mythical Beasts? This is the Twentieth Century! Things like that just don’t happen today.
Or . . . do they?
Created and Produced by Creative Presentations, INC. (1974)
Exceutive Producer: Gene Bullard
Producer/ Director: Ken Lewis
Production: Ken Benge
Music: Sid Siegel