What an interesting week it’s been. Those who follow this modest effort will have completely lost interest by now and moved to more immediate and appealing places. Like Twitter or other people’s Facebook walls; an irony here – let him that hath wisdom… This was the week when all the inflatable egos, including my own, had an entire stage all to themselves, especially built in the Embassy gardens, with full-on light show and sound environment, to put on ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’. Every luvvie for miles was in it and I found myself, alarming and unsettling as it seemed, very much at home. Whatever they were doing allowing flatfooted amateurs like me on to a professional stage still fills me with a sense of gaping wonderment. Three nights of performance later, adrenalin and probably many other ‘ins’ draining between my toes, I can’t help wondering whether people were just ‘kind’. Rodney Kingstone once wrote “It is better to be kind than right” with which I have to agree.
No longer being twenty five and rippling with well-trained muscle, the part of Oberon was not, inexplicably, offered to me, so I didn’t get to snog (a rather yummy) Titania.
The parts of the Rude Mechanicals or Workmen, rough Athenians all, allow for disproportionate clowning and, since they’re not supposed to be able to act, some Thespian latitude is often granted to them. On the last night, undecided between rough Bristol or even rougher Bethnal Green, Tom Snout or Wall fluffed his final speech, tripped over his costume which had a mind of its own, constantly attempting to slither off his shoulder and he waited a bit too long for the music to stop – it didn’t in the end. He caught sight of the producer/director – She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed, for whom most of us would walk over hot coals, standing akimbo at the back in full frontal sight, illuminated like Cleopatra within an archway. His bowels turned to water and the rest is history.
There’s a sense of loss when the Company goes its separate ways. I haven’t been on the stage for a long time, and I had forgotten. Many were discussing the next project – a tribute show commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic – which I can’t be part of since I shall be out of the country. Additionally I have – shall we say – gone walkabout as far as St Paul’s is concerned. At least for a time. Just for a change, I don’t feel remotely guilty. Daisy Mae would be proud of me.
All of these things are mirrored by the dust storm which currently rages outside.
Red sand means it’s blowing in from the North, clogging throats and vision – turning the environment into a moonscape, alien and otherworldly. Familiar things are clothed in darker light and well-known landmarks obscured.
Plus ça change…