At last, here's a continuation of my dabble in the delights of a theatrical extravaganza.
Having spent weeks working on the costumes, at last came the performances. My singing buddy and I (Lady Anne and her maid Prudence, remember?) were in four of the little playlets, each enacted at a different location around Chichester.
First we were part of a motley crew storming a building, then members of a hymn singing entourage of a preacher man. Next we had the country dancing to do, but our final scene was the most impressive. We had to station ourselves in the garden of a large and imposing house which had a wonderful set of high-arched, wrought iron gates, so that at the appropriate time it would appear that we'd rushed from our 'home' to see what all the commotion was.
By the time this stage of the performance began each evening, dusk was falling, and I had to carry a lantern when we trooped to the gates which kept us safe from the 'rabble' outside. This crowd, (armed with a supply of cabbages to throw!) were protesting at the incarceration and possible eventual hanging of a young mother, who had somehow offended the powers that be. It was all very touching, but to tell you the truth, I can't remember whether the cabbages or the law won the battle! I'm pretty sure it was the cabbage throwers who rescued the mother and baby.
'Baby' was a prop supplied by me, a life sized doll wrapped in fake-dirt encrusted swaddling clothes. I have the doll still, and it's wrappers, but they have been restored to their pristine whiteness, thanks to Persil.
Here's a photo of the imposing entrance to the Bishop's Palace Garden, which served as ready made scenery for the 'prison' in the play.
I think there were five performances altogether, but the first in particular caused us much mirth. The horse and waggon which transported the old and infirm amongst the audience from location to location, had passed over the cobbles shortly before we began our dance. We discovered that the horse's digestive system was well regulated, as you might say...it reached the end stage at precisely the time it was trotting over those cobbles, and we had to watch carefully where we placed our feet between the still steaming dollops of manure it gifted us with! And the next night, the horse manage a repeat performance as well as us. After this, word must have got back to the people responsible for feeding the animal so they altered his meal times, for the remaining performances were trouble free...
There are still more tales to tell, but I don't want this post to stretch any longer, so will save them for another day...bear with me, eh? If you missed the previous installments, you can find the first here and the second here.
Linked to Sepia Saturday