|Are you sitting comfortably - then we'll begin ....|
Yesterday evening I went on a one-woman picnic.
But this was to be no ordinary outing as the spot I was heading
for was the middle of a field in South Walsham where a
travelling theatre company, The Pantaloons, were due to
give a performance of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice.
This was a first for me but I was determined not to let the fact
that I had no one to go with keep me indoors too timid to
venture forth and thus missing out on something I really
wanted to do.
|Mr Darcy/Mr Bennet/Mr Wickham/Mary|
There were about three hundred other like minded souls in total
who rocked up some with hampers and tartan rugs whilst
others carried along huge chairs, cool boxes and almost the
entire contents of their local supermarket's sparkling wine aisle.
I must admit to feeling rather like the body odour offender in a
deodorant commercial as I sat and ate my supper in rather splendid
isolation whilst playing with my iphone in an attempt to appear
sophisticated and cool. But once the performance began none of that
mattered as it was lively, funny, well acted and refreshingly
different in it's approach. It also involved a good deal of audience
participation which thankfully I wasn't singled out for despite the
fact that I felt like a lone sitting duck that was wearing a
flashing, invisible "pick me for humiliation" hat.
|Mrs Bennet/MissBingley/Lydia/Anne De Bourgh|
When I left the lock-up temperatures were still in the
mid to high twenties so cut offs and a t-shirt seemed adequate
attire. Thank goodness I'm an experienced outdoor reveller
(Glastonbury, Richmond and Cambridge Festivals in my youth),
because very soon it was cardigan time, followed by fleece jacket
with hood and eventually polar throw and shared bodily warmth
(never fluids, not even medicinal brandy, on a first picnic)
if there was someone nearby who felt like sharing.
|Mr Bingley/Mr Collins/Mr Gardiner/Kitty|
Only in England could temperatures plummet in such a short space
of time and only us Brits would continue sitting with teeth chattering
in the middle of a wet sea fog which had rolled in from the coast,
at times obscuring the stage, and acting as if nothing untoward had happened.
|Jane/Miss Lucas/Mrs Gardiner/Lady Catherine|
I finally crept to the lock up a little before midnight, soaked to
the skin, frozen stiff and already looking forward to The Pantaloons
next performance scheduled for the autumn. All I need to do in
the interim is go on line and order some arctic survival gear and
a male escort to carry it.
|Mr Darcy having a swig as the fog starts to creep in.|
PS Mr Darcy was as you might expect. Try and catch a performance
if you don't mind experiencing hypothermia first hand -