If you also read poliphilo you will know that we have just had an overnight stay in Stratford-upon-Avon. We travelled down on Friday to go and see Julius Ceasar - it's first night. It was rather overdone with video and - intermittenlty, due to a fault, curtains which also showed video - to enhance the crowd scenes mainly. It wasn't, in my inexperienced opinion, very good. I'd never read it or seen it before, but did, of course, know the story.
Part of the problem is Shakespeare's after the assassination and speeches it doesn't really do very much, it felt like it was just making up the time allocated for a play. Also Shakespeare doesn't do much in the way of direction to actors - after all he wrote the part for specific actors. Miles reckons that Shakespeare would have played the poet Cinna and got a good laugh over the 'let's kill him for his bad verse' line.
So Friday night in an enormous strange bed - two 3 foot singles pushed together - I didn't sleep well. I often don't anyway, but at least at home I can get up and mooch around, but not in a b&b. The B & B was run by a nice if talkative woman Jean, who I would have no problems about staying with again. I goofed when she said that she'd seen a heron in her garden and replied 'wow, I'd love to see it' only to be told that it had taken one of her two fish - the youngest who had been born in the pool - Whoops!!
The OU Shakespeare Study day was good. It's always gratifying when people remember you after only having met you one and that a year ago. Of course being large and in a wheelchair - oh and did I mention opinionated - does help. I was brought back to earth when I discovered that my name label was made out to Alison, but that was quickly changed. We had coffee and then Lord Gawain Douglas - who just happened to be flogging his latest book Fortuna, a snip at £10 with a free cd of him reading the Sonnets - and he talked about the Lovely Boy and then read all 19 of them. After a break he talked about - explaining, determinidely, that both the boy and the dark woman were lovers of Shakespeare's - unsupportable and only vaguely possible - the Dark Lady sonnets and then read them - plus his family favourrites - by which time most people had had more than enough.
After lunch there was the AGM where I ended up taking the position of Secretary after, before the meeting, refusing Chair, Diary Secretary as I can't guarantee to be fit for a set date, the secretaryies duties seem the least onerous. Then it was time for Miles Richardson...
Have I mentioned that he is a god? As a coincidence we had sat next to him at the theatre the evening before - not knowing who he was. We just had the one empty seat and when I moved my wheelchair to let him through he said 'yes, I'm the one you've been waiting for'. Thankfully I have Tony (who is even better) or I may have embarassed myself. I decided that he was absolutely gorgeous, but although he is good looking :
I think it was more that he has great presence. We went for a semi-somnambulent group to trainee actors, unembarassed of reading parts or sonnets, or putting on some action. This picture is of York (man), Lady York ( woman holding chair) and Aumerle. When they were peaking their lines and only then - Aumerle had to pile chair in front of her, York had to move them, and L. York had to put them back. At first Aumerle had loads, then York, but by the end Lady York had put them all back!
It was great fun. We enjoyed it so much that, where it should have finished at 4pm, we all reluctantly packed up to go at 4.30. Then I drove us home.
Today, as I have come to expect, has been a day of doing nothing but aching. I didn't even get to church this morning. But it was worth it.