Shakespeare; surely one, if not the most famous of English writers, was born on 23 April 1564 which would make him 454 years old. Of course the 16th century system of recording births, deaths and marriages is not entirely reliable and some bright spark came up with the idea of making Shakespeare’s date of birth the same as St George’s Day. Perhaps that is due to one of the Bard’s most successful plays, Henry V…
“Cry God for Harry, England and St George”
It was a pity we didn’t have something planned for this most auspicious day, a few Shakespearean sonnets or a fire breathing dragon clinging to the roof. Maybe we shall next year. Anyway, talking of Harry and all things royal, Prince William and Katherine welcomed their third child this week. Now say what you will, but I take my hat off to Katherine being able to appear fresh-faced and composed within hours of giving birth. Having first-hand experience of the process, regardless of how one can make the top half look, it’s not so easy to deal with the business end of things, so credit where credit’s due.
But royal births aside, it was business as usual at the Marine Theatre with our first Marine Young Company session on Monday evening. There was a great deal of excitement amongst the girls as they arrived and whilst they outnumbered the boys, it wasn’t long before the course leader, Lizzie Hedden from the Northcott in Exeter had them completely absorbed. It’s always interesting to see the difference in behaviour when one gender outnumbers the other; the boys looked very sheepish and slightly nervous as the girls squealed, jumped around excitedly and hugged friends they hadn’t seen since leaving school…at least an hour ago. Makes you wonder what their school reunions will be like!
The H&S man spent 3 hours poking and probing
We had a visit from the Health & Safety officer, it’s a bit like the dentist, when you brush your teeth really well just before the appointment in the hope the past 6 months of neglect will be magically eradicated in two minutes. Our tech team checked everywhere for hazards and dodgy bits and the H&S man spent 3 hours poking and probing as the tech looked on nervously. I’m pleased to say that despite our age and condition we passed with just a couple of ‘recommendations’, nothing that a bit of extra careful brushing won’t take care of.
On the same day, we had a staff meeting that I chaired and because I had another meeting straight afterwards at the Hix restaurant, I was brutal with the schedule and cut short any chit-chat as we moved through the agenda at lightning speed. Then it was straight over to the Hix with our marketing man, John, to meet Mark Hix’ PA. There was much to discuss and despite me not being the chair, we covered alot of ground in a short time. I had quite forgotten about the view from their restaurant, I would almost be tempted to say it’s as good as ours given it looks right over the harbour and famous Cobb.
the younger one was galloping around holding imaginary reins
I met a lovely Swiss family who were staying in one of the holiday flats adjacent to the theatre. Sadly the weather wasn’t exactly ideal but that didn’t stop them going out and I saw them enjoying our spectacular view from Theatre Square. Well the parents were, their two young daughters had other ideas. The younger one was galloping around the top section of the square, her hands holding imaginary horse reins, her older sister was far too cool for such shenanigans and was doing a sedate trot around the lower part, without holding onto any reins.
Whilst all this horsing around was going on, our duty manager, Tom, had got the bit between his teeth, having started to clear the weeds from the front of the theatre last week, he decided to give the outside a white-wash. I’m sure Henry Blofeld who came along to perform ’78 Retired’ appreciated the cricket white appearance of the entrance. What a highly amusing and interesting man he is, a real ‘all-rounder’!
My week ended with another wedding tour on Saturday, both the bride and groom-to-be were actors and the to-be-bride had coincidentally performed on the Marine stage when she was small and the moment we went backstage, the smell and space (or lack of it) immediately brought it all back to her.
But then that’s what makes the Marine Theatre such a special place, it is dripping in history and oozing character with the sounds and spirits of acts long past and excitement and anticipation of performances, and weddings, to come.