Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Now what was I doing last night?

The text from Angela said "we're on the fake grass outside the National Theatre. Did you remember the wine?"

Sometime later I was enjoying a glass of wine with my good friend Angela and a refreshingly random set of people she knew, or had just met. She's fun like that. I was looking forward to a mellow and cheap evening, drinking wine on astroturf on the South Bank. Maybe the clue should have been the large signs saying Watchthispace. I wished I'd known outdoor theatre was coming to the South Bank. And that soon there would be hellish hoards and a public execution on the exact site of our picnic.

Within a few disorientating moments we were following a crowd around the square and surrounding streets chasing a rather empassioned fellow on a large cart. It was a story, as far as we could tell, about love, violence, murder and retribution. Which was how I came to be standing in a thick fog shouting "hang him!"

The videos and pictures shed about as much light on proceedings as being there did. It was hard to be bored for that half hour.

Several of our group were English teachers and afterwards enjoyed sitting and slating the performance. I was more sanguine; would we rather sit in a grey and uneventful city or be thankful when we're shaken out of our routines and boredom by a blaze of colour and chaos? I think something of Turkey rubbed off on me.

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