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1952.PlayReadingI guess much depends on exactly which sort of magic you seek when it comes to theatre – because there are so many.

But if you love the words, and all the imagining the words can spark off, then a play-reading group might be your thing. It might be mine: much as I have been increasingly busying myself with such production aspects as stage direction and lighting, I’m a playwright first. And, words being my stuff, I would love to be part of a project like The Paper Stage: people gathering at the Gulbenkian Cafè, in Canterbury, to read Elizabethan plays aloud.

No experience needed, and, from what I gather, no rehearsals: one just lets the group know, turns up, and… reads. And the play takes on a life of its own, judging by last month’s Romeo and Juliet.  Oh, to be in England, now that such a brilliant idea is here…

As researcher and blogger Eoin Price says in his asidenotes, this means a chance to hear – if not to see – performed plays that are seldom staged, and to explore the varied richness of Elizabethan theatre in much more depth than it is usual.

Wish I could be in Canterbury next Monday, for the second Paper Stage event, a reading of Marlowe’s Jew of Malta. And because obviously I can’t, I’m already wondering: can I think up a Paper Stage-like group around here?