"The actors are at hand;and, by their show,
You shall know all, that you are like to know”
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Anyone who knows their Shakespeare will tell you that ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ from which the above quote comes, has fairies in it, as well as a group of actors who get caught up in the comedy. I’m not sure if my late mother-in-law, the tall fairy in the centre of this picture, was acting in a junior production of that play, but the photograph fits perfectly with the theme for this week’s Sepia Saturday. The picture prompt being a theatre, and Alan encouraging us to ‘put on a performance’, allows me to introduce the dramatis personae within my own family.
Mary the Fairy also makes a handsome young lad in the second picture (third left, back) though we’ve no idea what the play is. It could be Shakespeare again, perhaps 'As You Like It’, as there are shepherds, shepherdesses and goatherds in the Forest of Arden, and the youngsters appear to be dressed appropriately for a pastoral scene, but that could just be wishful thinking.
As a young woman, my Mother-in-law became a member of the Lancaster Footlights Club, and her performance in ‘My Three Angels’ was reported in the paper on November 1st 1957, as being 'assured and convincing’. Well, it’s not surprising, after such an early start.
|Mum, as the housekeeper, with arms crossed|
|Mum, seated, with hat and bag|
|Mum, third right|
|Me, as a blackbird, top right, flexing my dramatic wings|
It clearly didn’t put me off, because I went on to perform in my school’s sixth form production of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’, where I had two lines to say, and played a drunken old ‘witch’ in the slammer. No comments please. By the time I was at teacher training college I was taking part in revues and sketches in the drama club, and had more than two lines to remember. This proved my undoing as I would frequently ‘dry’. I admire those actors, professional and amateur, who can memorise huge tracts of script.
The photos are courtesy of The Bonington Players, in Arnold, Nottingham, and more can be found on their website.
And now the final Act; my own offspring demonstrating that acting is in the blood. My son is the one in the centre, trying to stifle a smile, whilst the lad next to him has failed to do so. All the others are managing to strike some sort of dramatic pose. In the photo above my daughter just looks pleased that’s it’s all over.
So, ladies and gentlemen ‘our revels now are ended’. We may not be an acting dynasty like the Redgraves, but each generation of the family has played its part.
To see what dramas others have produced, have a look at this week’s Sepia Saturday.