The place was lovely, the group eager, and the reading went great. Even the not-quite-toy-theatre I took it into my head to make for the occasion was ready in time, and with minimal damage – if you discount the half jar of glue I managed to spill on the wooden floor of my study… But never mind that: the wonderful thing was how well the reading itself went.
I may as well confess, I was worried sick over rhythm. We had gathered a mix of “real” actors, amateurs and people who had never read aloud before – plus one delightful nine-year-old – so I anxiously wondered: would it work? Would it limp? Would it sag and quickly flounder into boredom?
Well, the fact is, once we sat in a circle and began, the play took charge of itself somehow, and everyone fell in step with the “real” actors, and it never even threatened to become boring. It worked – and with a vengeance.
So much so that, by the end, each and all were making plans not only for the next two Thursdays, but for what we will read in September, and how we will go on, and have dinner together after the reading “so we can keep discussing it…” It turns out that veteran actors are delighted with the prospect of essaying roles they’d never play otherwise, and all the others loved the thrill of the theatre, and everyone arrived curious and went away full of zest.
So, as the title says, I’m in a Shakespearean mood – and to celebrate, here is a scrap of music: The Dance of the Knights, from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. It may not be the happiest piece of music in the world, but it is Shakespearean, and I love it.
And next Thursday, some more Romeo and Juliet awaits us.