Saturday, 1 March 2014
First Day of Spring - Summer Dreaming
Ah me...just been taken back 40 years or more: Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream Overture, courtsey of 'Carsick' FM. Memories of a school production of Shakespeare's play when I was in my early teens: flowing robes (white sheets) ; rags in my hair every night to achieve that Grecian ringlet effect (not so much fun having to walk past the nearby boys' school with Violet Elizabeth style curls!)No speaking part for me thank goodness: I was one of several Grecian ladies whose sole purpose was to glide on at intervals and drape themselves in tasteful manner over a flight of steps (more sheets fixed over wooden boxes). There was a mild frisson of excitement at one point when the girl who played Puck trod on a drawing pin mid-speech yet continued - dripping blood - with one foot stuck backstage whilst we tried to unstick her. Laughs as always at Peter Quince, Bottom and his cronies, Titania, Oberon and the lovers, relief at the happy ending. Above all - that magical sense of anticipation - of long Summer days, of promise and happy times ahead; that sense of common purpose when a project comes together after so much blood, sweat and tears. I've a hazy memory on one day of us rushing outside - still in our costumes - straight after the curtain call to line up outside the school to cheer on a visiting dignitary: (Princess Anne? Duchess of Kent?). I can't recall who exactly, it's all part of a dreamy haze now.
Such a long time ago - but however grey the day, it only takes the opening bars of the overture for me to know that Summer is on the way.