Shakespeare’s Women

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Jennifer A McGowan reads some of her Shakespeare inspired poems at Midsummer Night in the Garden. Responding to:

Othello – Emilia

King Lear – Cordelia in Prison

A Winter’s Tale – Paulina as Pygmalion

Macbeth (Had to sort the camera out part way through this, so it’s a bit, um, weird.) Weird Sisters on the Make

Henry VI Parts 1-3 & Richard III – Margaret of Anjou

We hope to publish Jennifer’s next collection With Paper for Feet, in 2017, funding permitting.

What Country, Friends? and Mary Arden Videos

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Carrie Cohen reads Elinor Brooks poem, What Country, Friends? Inspired by Twelfth Night, amongst other things.

And Jennifer A McGowan reads her own sequence of poems, Mary Arden’s Garrets

Another Midsummer in the Garden performance.

 

At the Bottom of the Sea of Troubles video

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 …

Silence in Court! Midsummer custody battle video

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Crown versus Crown a prize-winning sketch by Carolyn Eden based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which Titania and Oberon fight for custody of the Changeling.

Titania- Carrie Cohen
Oberon- Saul Reichlin
Cobweb- Katy Darby
Robin Goodfellow- Cliff Chapman
Judge- Mike Eden

Songs for Midsummer Video Raise the Roof

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If Music be the food of love, play on…

The lovely Raise the Roof community choir brought us some songs ancient and modern to celebrate Shakespeare

Ancient: Elizabethan ‘anti-austerity songs’ a medley of songs from Shakespeare’s day about trying to have a good time with an empty purse.

Fairly Modern: Juliet Desailly’s setting of Shakespeare’s Full Fathom Five sung in public for the first time in 40 years, apparently!

Very Modern: Kirsty Martin’s setting of words from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (and Hamlet) We Intend for Your Delight written especially for the occasion.

Midsummer: Sonnet and Neighbour complaint Videos

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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!

Midsummer Night in the Garden update and BOOKING INFO!!

Some loose ends for Midsummer Night in the Garden

The Library have had a LOT of interest and are getting anxious about fitting everyone in, and would in any case like to allocate the seats to those who genuinely need them, so please can you phone them on  0208 314 7794 to book a place. You are encouraged to bring a picnic blanket to spread on the lawn.

BY THE WAY… Manor House Library is in LEE SE13, not in Manor House north London! Just in case you were confused.

We can now confirm that wine/beer will be available for a donation, and we will also be offering tea/coffee/biscuits and strawberries, home-made cake and savoury muffins will be on sale, along with (surprise!) books.

We have confirmation of the final performers: Rosalyn Miller & Toby Hines will sing Rachel Bellman & Elizabeth Charlesworth’s Little Tricks, accompanied by Mark Wainwright on guitar.

Listen to Cherry Potts talking to Gill Manley at Croydon Radio about Midsummer Night in the Garden. Our segment is about 1h40m in.

midsummer propsProps!

 

Update on Midsummer Night…

Keeping fingers firmly crossed for delicious weather, the banner is up and we only need to raise another £15 to be able to pay our performers, so if anyone would like to contribute to the crowd fund, the link is here. While I was looking for the link to copy, we hit our target! We could still do with more as we now have 2 more performers…

midsummer banner in situ2 midsummer banner in situWe have a late addition to the programme, Carolyn Eden (whose work we featured in Liberty Tales) has offered us an award-winning sketch based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Crown Versus Crown in which the dispute between Oberon & Titania reaches court, where arguments are put in doggerel. With very little persuasion we’ve roped in Cliff Chapman (another long-time collaborator) and Mike Eden to fill out our cast to sufficient numbers.

We are thinking about strawberries on the lawn… whatever the weather it will be a lot of fun.

 

Shall I compare thee to another Cat?

Shall I compare thee copyNot the words of Shakespeare, nor even a very precise sonnet, but a little frivolity on the basis that it is alleged that the interweb likes cats almost as much as I do, and a great deal more than most other things, and a good way to draw attention to our funding drive to pay our performers and keep our Midsummer Shakespeare homage free to the audience.

So here is a courtly, catly entertainment.

Julian has taken the use of his image as the flattery for which it is intended, and anyone who knows him knows that every word is true – Philip Sydney reincarnate.

Shall I compare thee to another cat?
Thou art more lusty and yet the diplomat.
Rough Toms do bait my darling Kit in May,
And summer’s Queens were never quite so fat.
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And then thy lustrous coat by dust is dimmed;
And even thou from hunt sometime declines,
By choice, or dinner’s changing course, untinned;
But thy eternal purring shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that heart thou own’st,
Nor shall one brag thou snoozest in his glade,
When above all felines thou art known’st.
So long as cats may breathe, or eyes may see,
So long lives this, and this gives love to thee.

I hasten to add that EVERYTHING we are doing on Midsummer’s Day is a great deal better written than this bit of silliness – is Caterall a thing?. Want to know more? (about the event, not the cat) Information here… and Crowdfund Here! We have just over a fortnight to raise the very modest £350, and so far only 2 very kind friends have proffered any assistance . So we really need your help!

(no cat was forced to dress up for this image!)

midsummer flier copy

crowdfunding Midsummer Night in the Garden

Aside

We are crowdfunding on Kickstarter to pay our Midsummer Night performers, if you felt like helping there are some very nice rewards available HERE.

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