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Tempest dead on time

August 25, 2012

So then to The Tempest, 0ne of Shakespeare’s plays being performed as part of the Arundel Festival and directed by Jack Shepherd (the actor who play Wycliffe and who bizarrely was wearing shorts) in the rain which, as predicted, began several hours before the performance of the play. The rain began in earnest at around 3pm and reached tempestuous proportions by early evening, but by the scheduled start time, it had abated as my picture today, with the stage set against the backdrop of Arundel Castle, shows.

The calm before the storm

This was however the beginning of a cruel joke. Almost as soon as the first actors appeared, the first splashes of rain were evident. Within a minute this had turned into a torrential downpour, so severe that the on stage microphones began misbehaving and had to be turned off. That nice lady decorator had taken the precaution of bringing an umbrella, but of course as soon as she unfurled it, restricting the view of all behind her, she was required to close it and sat miserably under the central piece of the material which was acting like a stupid looking hat whilst we watched stupid looking actors.

I am not exactly sure when the driving rain turned to sleet but I think it was half way through the first half of an interminable mumble of disjointed prose and old-fashioned nonsense, so at the interval I assumed that we all wanted to leave to dry out. I had not banked on Auntie Pam and her school mistress backbone. She is 84 and was determined to sit it out and shamed me into staying for the second half, which incidentally was marginally less uninteresting than the first half.

Thus we sat in the rain with the wind rising close to gale force with the temperature dropping like a stone, soaked to the skin and beyond, surrounded by better equipped lunatics with that indomitable English sprit. They, including the Duke of Norfolk, were enjoying the hardship, I was not. I am fresh out of indomitable.

For those that consider that France is a bureaucratic nightmare, try this. I use a nasal spray to help keep the old sinuses clear and have some prescribed by my French doctor. On France, I can pop into the pharmacy with the empty one and get a new one. In England, I need a doctor’s appointment (next Thursday) and the repeat prescriptions have to be submitted 4 days before you need the medication. By that time my condition will have worsened considerably. Never mind though, I shall be in Valbonne on Monday so all will see the doc Tuesday morning and all will be done and dusted by 10am, two days before I can even get an appointment here!

Afterward the play had droned on for over 2 hours we were desperate to dry off so popped into the White Hart in search of something warming and were then seduced into going up to the Red Lion where an excellent white roots reggae band were playing, the place was rammed, hot and rocking so we sat at the bar gently steaming in our damp attire. Auntie Pam did not join us.

Three more days remain of the Arundel Festival but we shall miss the last as we fly to France. During these two days I expect to double the number of new Currencies Direct customers that I have signed up to 2. Sadly we missed Screaming Les and the Mindbenders last night as their performance clashed with the play, which was a shame, with a name like that and topping the bill on the Jubilee Stage they are unlikely to be ordinary, although that does not necessarily mean good, maybe next year.

Chris

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