Thursday, 1 March 2012

More Play Time

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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.
And this illustration give a fair impression of how we all looked in the scene where we had to do our country dancing on the still cobbled road of South Street.

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 

30 comments:

  1. How wonderful! There IS a part for everyone, isn't there? Horse as visual comedian. :-)

    Pearl

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  2. You are an inspiration to those of us who,for one reason or another, waste our time sitting in front of the TV, expecting it to entertain us.

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  3. This is just too funny. It somewhat reminds me of a Superbowl commercial ...

    I loved our La Petite Theatre when I was a child - the good old days when I was allowed backstage, but was too shy to perform.

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  4. A good food source for roses so they tell me. I've seen people collecting horses droppings when the riding school goes up and down our lane.

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  5. Fun story, and I do like the photo.

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  6. Have I missed something here Jinksy - do I understand that you have been pelted with cabbages?

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    1. It was the lawmen who got pelted with the cabbages - me and my lantern were safe behind the wrought iron gates of the Big House!

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    2. what wonderful memories. the part about the horse - priceless.
      Nancy

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  7. The play had been well rehearsed but the horses had their own way;

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  8. Oh what silly things we can do to make our lives so worth living, right! Great photo!...and absolutely happy times!

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  9. Oh Jinksy what fun. I can remember dressing up for Halloween as a young woman and putting on plays. One year my boyfriend and I dressed up like Bonnie and Clyde and staged a phoney robbery. What fun to remember through SS.
    QMM

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  10. How funny, and I'm pleased none of the cabbages landed on you :-) Jo

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  11. Enjoyed reading this post and read your first installment too. I admire you for taking part in this. It would definitely be out of my comfort zone to do it, but I'm sure it was fun and rewarding in so many ways. I need to remember this when I come across opportunities to stretch myself. You only live once. :)

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  12. Oh yes, the old problem of the horse not following stage directions! Great fun.

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  13. A horse of a different color? I remember once watching the Queen's Birthday pageant at Horse Guard Parade and the bandsmen had no choice but to march straight ahead through all the horse droppings. But by the end of the show they were gone, thanks to the efforts of London's pigeons. Thanks for the tip on the comment settings but alas it remains hidden on my dashboard.

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    1. Extra tip...Revert temporarily to the old interface, and the settings can be changed easily, before going back to the new one... :)

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  14. It sounds like you guys had a blast ... wish that I could have been there to watch!

    Kathy M.

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  15. While your telling was great to read,
    I'm wondering if there is a video of all this?
    Yours, or someone else's?...
    I'd be curious to see that,
    minus the horses' droppings...
    :D~
    HUGZ

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  16. What a wonderful time you must have had...pictures please :)

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  17. Seems like you are a competent performer too Pen? - Dave

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  18. wonderful times these can be, I know. Thanks for the post, and may you enjoy many more such times in th future.

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  19. heee heee heee, can't take them horses anywhere.... sounds like so much fun, all told, and how coincidental, my bean's been rehearsing and is performing next week in a 'beauty and the beast' production. seems the world's at play (no pun intended)

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  20. The audience was , I hope , mightily impressed by your devotion to Rèalisme !

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  21. Oh my goodness, I can't turn my back on you for ONE MINUTE, can I? Just look at what you've been up to - talk about impressive - wow, you are utterly amazing, what a hoot this all sounds, and such a fun thing to be involved with! I would love to see some stills, or maybe even a video clip of you in this production - couldn't you perhaps bribe someone to put something together for us?

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    1. To my knowledge, there were never any taken. Back then mobile phones with video option hadn’t been invented, and very few people had expensive video cameras – besides which, us ‘extras’ were far too busy to worry about photos.
      I have emailed a local paper recently, to see whether they had any pics in their archives, but they’ve not even deigned to reply, so sorry, it’s a case of using the imagination, instead!

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  22. I do admire your talent!You always inspire every single time!
    hugs
    Sandi

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  23. We did not have the cameras like they do now or I am sure most of us would have had pictures taken in our plays and all the costumes we wore. I would love to have one of my brother in a ballerina outfit he wore for one. I cannot remember why he had to wear it as he was always in something like that but he looked prettier then some girls in it but that was before he grew into a man weighing over 200lbs. I would love to see that little doll you had. I have a thing for old dolls.

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  24. That was really a great tale & I had to smile at the mucky horse & the cabbages.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

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  25. This was a marvelous post with humor, too, plus it sounds like a fun thing to do. Love it.

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