Katy Darby reads the delicious At the Bottom of the Sea of Troubles by Lucy Ribchester (originally a Liars’ League story), at our Shakespeare400 event, Midsummer Night in the Garden at Manor House Library.
oh, and we got a review – it’s only available on Facebook, so it is copied here in almost its entirety for those of you who don’t do that (I’ve left out some misapprehensions that just confuse the issue.)
“A miniature Kenwood or a pocket Glyndebourne” ? by RICHARD STOKER – Actor/Composer/Writer/Artist etc.
Some very talented actors and musicians treated us to a real summer open-air event last evening – June 21st 2016. It was luckily a warm sunny night with only one spot of rain ! The action started with music : ” From Songsters Raise the Roof ” and ended with a story ” At the Bottom of the Sea of Troubles ” these two items alone made an excellent start and end to the production – both as creations and in performance quality. You can guess by now that it was in praise of our greatest bard – William Shakespeare – in an almost authentic setting both in its venue – the splendid Baring public-library and gardens (even the two canons outside the front door were festooned with flowers for a change) – the birds flew over even one seagull – planes could be seen in the distance but did not drown in any way the music or the actors – one baby could be heard crying. We were very lucky no midges wasps or bees were about … the sound system worked extremely well too – refreshments were available including strawberries and cream tarts etc. People sat on the lawns Glyndebourne-style with picnics laid out over the grass. As it grew darker this setting was idyllic for Shakespeare …I was reminded of Kenwood House as the music was sung and the Scarborough open air library events came to mind which I always enjoyed. “Raise the Roof” was the splendid choir mostly a cappella conducted by Kirsty Martin – who reminded me of Imogen Holst herself – with the same determination of purpose. The actors were excellent – they included Cliff Chapman, Carrie Cohen, Katy Darby, Saul Reichlin – in fact Katy Darby was a star of the show having that rare ability to hold any audience anywhere at her finger-tips. There was also some original writing from many of our authors including the american-born Sarah Lawson, her “Next door to the Capulets” deserves mention. The printed program was well designed in Shakespearian style print and spelling. Much devoted thought had gone into this whole project. This evening will live long in the memories of all who were lucky enough to have attended …
Alison Absolute sent us lots of Haiku… Almost the Complete Works of Shakespeare: we couldn’t use them all, these are just some – a page got dropped somewhere so there are fewer than we intended – read by Katy Darby, Carrie Cohen & Saul Reichlin
Saul Reichlin reads Pat Tompkins‘ acrostic, What’s in a Name? Listen carefully, in true Elizabethan cryptic style, there’s a message buried in the first letters of each line
there are lots more videos to come, keep an eye out!
Our revels may be ended but we still have memories to look back upon.
We got a lot of poems in response to our Midsummer Shakespeare400 call out, here are just 2 of them!
Kim Russell sent us her Response to Sonnet 12 (read by Carrie Cohen), so we thought you should hear the actual Sonnet 12 (read by Saul Reichlin) before the response: it seemed only fair!
Sarah Lawson imagined what it was like to live Next Door to the Capulets. This poem is introduced with a little bit of Romeo & Juliet from Katy Darby & Cliff Chapman
There’s lots more to come, but my laptop is almost full, despite off loading vast quantities of files, so editing the videos is tiresome, and for some reason uploading is taking an age too. So patience will be required!
Wow, that was a lot of fun. A bit exhausted today, and trying not to post mortem the tiny things that didn’t go quite as I would have liked, none of which were to do with performance. Someone from the library had the time to do a head count, and there were still 111 people around at the end, and more earlier who took smalls of to bed and so forth.
Clearly the strawberry moon presaged great things – SO glad I didn’t realise the leap year meant the Solstice was really Monday, we would have got very wet!
So a vaster-than-empires thank-you (yes, I know that isn’t Shakespeare*) to:
Joan Redding, for saying yes, trusting us with her library and letting us get on with it
Tony Gibson, parking maestro and usher in chief
Ralph Winkler, Sound engineer
Pat Roberts, Max Norman, Judy Cumberbatch, Danny Connolly for helping set up. Arachne Mates
Judith Stephenson for taxi services
Alix Adams and Muireann Grealy for being brilliant bar staff and strawberry distributors
Jay Hassan for amazing cakes
Michele for book sales and saying ‘We’ when talking about Arachne Press.
Jane Ferguson for ushering and programme distribution
Bea (and Hugh) Jackson for set (and cannon) dressing
The readers, for reading so magnificently and entering into the spirit of midsummer madness with such aplomb
Jennifer A McGowan (best-dressed Shakespearean character)
Saul Reichlin (presence, gravitas, and doormanship)
Katy Darby (especially for the tress-tossing)
Carrie Cohen (super fundraiser)
Cliff Chapman (MC extraordinaire)
Mike Eden (out of retirement especially for us)
Raise the Roof for fearless singing of very new songs especially Juliet Desailly for the solo and Maestra Kirsty Martin for the 100 mile round trip
Rosalyn Miller & Toby Hine for acting whilst singing and Mark Wainwright for playing the guitar with music trying to take wing.
For meeting the brief so magnificently and entertainingly.
Rachel Bellman & Elizabeth Charlesworth
Jennifer A McGowan
and of course the founder of the feast, Master William Shakespeare.
Well, weren’t you the bees knees? 111 of you stayed the course to the end, in ever cooling temperatures and rising wind. Congratulations on being our largest audience yet! Stay in touch! If anyone took any pictures they are prepared to share please let us know, I really can’t manage video, audio recording and taking stills.
Video will go up over the next week as I edit it – Still have some Story Sessions to edit, and the Solstice Shorts Submissions to read… but been too busy preparing for this to get it all done. Contain your Souls in Patience, I will get there.
WRITERS AND MUSICIANS: you have until 23:59 tomorrow to submit your story, poem or music on the theme of Shortest Night, for This year’s Solstice Shorts Festival to be held on 21st December 2016.
EVERYBODY especially Shakespeare enthusiasts: Tomorrow is our free Midsummer Night in the Garden event. It looks like the weather will be fine so book you place via the library on 0208 314 7794 bring a picnic blanket and some insect repellant! We will be selling books, strawberries and cake, and there will be alcohol available for a donation.
Because it’s a leap year the Solstice is actually today. looking at the torrential rain I’m glad we went with the day people think is Midsummer even though it isn’t. quite.