Karen and Andy had bought tickets for a performance of Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. They have a friend Ishia Bennisson who is playing the role of the Nurse and wanted to catch her performance and visit with her. They had bought a ticket for me too which was so thoughtful.
We needed to leave by 8.30 because it is at least 2 hours drive away, depending on traffic. Andy had thought we might have time to visit Kenilworth Castle beforehand but the traffic and the early start to the play made it too difficult to enjoy a visit without rushing. Instead we explored the town and visited many significant places at our leisure before the play. The swans were congregating in one spot beside the river as evening drew near. I have never seen such a sight or so many swans in one place. We kept wondering if there was a special term to describe a group of swans.
Shakespeare’s burial place in Holy Trinity Church and the walkway of 10 lime trees, each signifying an apostle.
The play was interesting with a modern staging and a determination to make it relevant to young audiences. I enjoyed the performance but I felt the delivery of words was sometimes rushed. Energy overcame the poetry of the dialogue. Some of the acting was very good and I felt the full impetuosity and passion of youth was well portrayed. Ishia was very good as the Nurse, her experience showed. She has been engaged as a (directurg?) person to facilitate the realisation of scripts to production for a theatre company in Oregon, in the United States. She works with writers and directors and finds it very exciting and interesting as well as being an actor. I have only recently heard of this type of role in theatres since Janine has been involved at the Malthouse Theatre at home. .
By the time we finished dinner at Carlucci’s (Sicilian food) it was getting late but we visited her digs which look onto the river. They are owned by the company and rented to the cast. She can sit on the terrace and learn her lines for another production while listening to the water rushing over the weir. There are even waterlilies. It is a gorgeous aspect.
We returned home about 10, much quicker because there was hardly any traffic in the late evening. The light was so golden on the hills and fields. I keep reciting snippets of My Country by Dorothea Mackellar so I must be homesick.
The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft dim skies.
I know but cannot share it
My love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains,
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel sea,
Her beauty and her terror-
The wide brown land for me!
I think this beautiful summer that the English are relishing makes me homesick. Go figure!