Well, while there’s a brief window and you are waiting for an update on the forthcoming Shakespeare celebrations how about another dip into the archive while there’s a moment or two. Again, trying to keep with the Bardic theme, our next dalliance is with Terence Rattigan’s ‘Harlequinade’. The second part of an evening titled ‘Playbill’, this formed a lightly frivolous and humorous companion piece to ‘The Browning Version’, more of which in a future post. A farce, the play concerns a professional theatre company presenting ‘Romeo and Juliet’ on its opening night where Arthur, the lead actor, a wonderfully bewigged and beardless Tim Pearce, as an altogether passed it Romeo is horrified to be confronted by his grown up daughter (Muriel) and grandchild, of neither of whose existences he had been aware. Comedy ensues. In the safe hands of john Mackintosh this was an enjoyable conclusion to a solid evening of theatre. These photos are particularly nostalgic as a number of the actors pictured have moved on from their brief sojourn with The Matchbox, though a few are occasionally glimpsed in theatres round the area in other guises. Good natured and good fu,n my memories are wholly agreeable though my involvement limited. If I recall there was some awkward stage fighting, a wonderful balcony scene betwixt Tim and Annie, some impromptu ‘Withnail and I’ quotations and my own contention with a beard that was way too bushy for the summer months. As ever, others may have more memories and they are always welcomed but, for me, it’s time to carry on with the day job and to catch you a wee bit later on. Enjoy.
I understand that there is some big event in the next few weeks that ISN’T our ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’, something to do with football?! It is not something that I will be really tuning into but in the same week that we heard the sad news of Rik Mayall’s passing I thought it worth posting this link. You may not be fans of football, and may not be fans of Mayall but there is a link to Shakespeare there and in the same week that we have faced adversity of our own with ‘Henry V’ that is reason enough to post it. For myself, I really quite like it, and I hope that it enjoys a little success for so many reasons, not least because it is a wonderful homage to one of the finest speeches in the Bard’s works, though I know Matchbox purists will loathe it. Take it or leave it, download it or pass it by, it’s a simple case of what you will but be sure I will be back next week with further news of our own adventures
May is passed, June is here and it’s just over a month before curtains go up on our summer production, ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’. Hopefully you will have by now received a flyer for this forthcoming experience which is set to be something of a departure in comparison to recent productions.
In true cabaret style the Matchbox will take the audience through Comedies, Tragedies and Histories with a carefully balanced blend of the serious and comic. There will be music, singing, a lot of laughs and a few thoughtful moments as, amongst others, we homage ‘Twelfth Night’, ‘Hamlet’, ‘Anthony & Cleopatra’ and ‘Henry V’. And let me assure you this is not an evening of doublet and hose, furrowed brows and serious iambic pentameter; you will not need a GCSE in Shakespeare studies to appreciate this evening. You will be regally entertained whilst eating, drinking and I know will appreciate our bevy of marvellous skits, scenes and sketches, many in modern vein. So, go on, click the link below and do what the guys have to say… get your tickets ordered now and Brush Up Your Shakespeare.