How did Shakespeare in the Jungle go, after all?
The answer is: surprisingly well.
Well, the mosquitoes were many, Chinook-sized, and hungry, and the heat murderous – but, in spite of that – and of and the lack of advertising – the garden filled up to capacity… And let me tell you this: few things galvanize a performance like an unexpected audience.
I mean: you are brooding over the prospect of a scant handful of brave and hardy mothers/spouses/siblings/children lost in a sea of empty chairs, and instead find yourself facing a crowd. It’s the kind of thing that gives you an extra spark. *
Or at least this is how it worked for us – to much applause and praise.
It must be said that the location helped: after all, the local powers had some pang of conscience (or perhaps the Spirit of the Bard visited them in their dreams), so that on Thursday morning someone actually bothered to mow the lawn and tame the bushes and bring the chairs. I might grouse that the change of heart didn’t extend to having a representative attend the play – but never mind.
This is likely to mean, in the long run, that we’ll find ourselves in the same kind of trouble next summer, and happily charge into it on the strength of Thursday’s happy end…
Ah well, bridges, and crossing them when one gets there, and everything, right? Meanwhile, Shakespeare in Words had a truly great anniversary performance – and that’s good.
* Of course the reverse is also true. Ever played to an empty house? Worse still: ever played to an unexpectedly empty house?