Stroud News Report:
Ye Grande Rodborough Revels
A group of some forty strolling players and spectators gathered in Coronation Road, Rodborough, on Saturday for a Shakespearian celebration. Scenes from a variety of plays were enacted in the street and in houses and gardens on a sun-splashed spring afternoon.
The day started with a quiz about Rodborough in Shakespearian couplets; next came Act 1 Scene 2 from The Tempest with Prospero and Miranda on Ye Lawne. The promenade then led to a garage roof where the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet ensued: could such a promenade through such tableaux vivant have been happening anywhere else in the country?
The motley troupe of residents then crossed King’s Road for a moving and comic interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a back garden. Style then changed after another promenade for ‘the Scottish play’ as kitchen sink drama, before the road was re-crossed for the gulling of Malvolio in another outside re-creation.
All the while the strolling players were being followed by a boat, carried by James Pentney, who gave a talk about how he is planning to visit Iona and the Scottish islands for a poetic pilgrimage to the burial place of the historic Macbeth.
Next came Shakespeare’s views on football; then King Lear and then Phyllis Duffield’s rendition of the Seven Ages of Man. Phyllis who is 86 and travelled up from Bristol for the event, pointed out that “I have only reached five of these seven stages!”
Another promenade followed for Benedick’s soliloquy from Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet’s final soliloquy reflecting on Fortinbras’ military campaign against Poland.
One last promenade meant the ending of the revels with a quick fire ‘Ten Dirty Jokes from Shakespeare in Ten Minutes’.
Wine, water, fruit and strawberry cake kept the troupe nourished through a unique and memorable afternoon.
Ye Grande Rodborough Revels
To commemorate the birthe, life and deathe of one
William Shakespeare on Saint George’s Day 2016
In Coronationne Roade, be ye Subjectte or Citizenne
Ye Planne (Whatte coulde goe wrongge?):
1. Ye introductionne to ye dayye: Stuart Butler atte two of the clockke:
“Ye Grande Commemorative William Shakespeare Rodborough Inquisition”
Good morrow, good friends, pray tarry a while
Forget the business of modernity’s style,
And list to my questions about this fair parish,
Try to gain points, and memory to cherish -
So let us begin and commence this day’s sport,
Let the game be well judged, and fairly fought.
So raise your hand, please do not shout out,
This is a quiz, not a rabble-rout.
A turnpike once climbed over Rodborough Hill,
What is the evidence that stands there still?
A picture doth swing in the morning sun,
Of who, who died in 1861?
The great poet Wordsworth ne’er visited here,
But where is a reference to his life so clear?
I carry no sword, pikestaff, nor lance,
But where round the corner is a reference to France?
A film was once made whose start’s on the Common,
With Ricky Gervaise; is the title forgotten?
Which village nearby was once known by its suffix,
But we now define by its short sounding prefix?
Three pubs in the parish serve its residents well,
But which would be for Oliver Cromwell?
(And a bonus award for a successful try
At telling me some strange reason why.)
So by my troth, this is question eight,
Imagine thou art on the common dark late,
You are searching for bears, not the dancing kind,
How many are seen with the naked eye?
Now question nine, I search for an old shop,
Where is the one that once was the Co-op?
The final round: a dog of some calibre,
Who nearly became the England manager?
Our revels are ended - the game has been won,
Tis time to swap shirts before the day’s run,
I swap mine with Shakespeare, with a poem sublime,
Tis all about football, in memory’s rhyme:
‘Sphere! Leather sphere!
See how I kick the muddied orb
High into the vaulted azure sky,
Far above London’s dark grime and soot,
Until it doth descend,
When I trap it with my boot.
Then have I ambition mundane,
One terrestrial aim:
To advance upon the opposition goalie,
To score with a shot oh so sublime,
That doth transcend reason and rhyme,
Receive applause as offered from some votary,
Far more art and artifice in that
Than in writing this preposterous poetry.’
I thank you, lords, ladies and commoners.
On to the next stage, by your leave.
2. 2.10 ish: House Onne: 1.2 Tempest
3. 2. 25ish: House Two: ‘We're thinking of Romeo & Juliet balcony scene or Merchant of Venice courtroom’
4. 2.40 ish: House Three: parts of A Midsummer Night’s Dream 3.1 and 5.1/2
5. 2.55ish: House Fourre: ‘Think we're going to go for the big one and do the two scenes from Macbeth either side of the murder of Duncan. But not the "is this a knife I see before me" speech ...You may have to suspend your disbelief a little more than usual!’
6. 3.10ish: Housse Five: Malvolio and the letter
7. 3.25ish: House Sixxe: 2 quick speeches (Lear and Edgar) OR Trish’s mum, Phyllis Duffield - All the World's a Stage; then a quick talk from Jim Pentney about his boat and a poet and his Macbeth island voyage re-creation.
8. 3.40ish: House Sevenne - Much Ado: Benedick’s soliloquy reacting to his friends pretending that Beatrice is in love with him; Hamlet: Hamlet’s final soliloquy reflecting on Fortinbras’ military campaign against Poland; The Tempest: Prospero’s ‘Our revels now are ended…’ speech
9. ‘House Eightte: to be confirmedde
10. Ye Common: 10 dirtye jokes from Ye Barde in 10 minutes