Marionnettiste

1372446441658I texted G:  ‘Are you at Glasto?’ ‘No’ came the reply, ‘Need something edgier: Sherry and slippers’.

I flicked between coverage on the BBC;  do they send their entire staff there for two weeks, I wondered, or is that just sour grapes on my part? Probably. You certainly can’t fault their coverage.  Despite the number of haircuts masquerading as bands, the line up is quality this year, although of course that’s not all it’s about..

This evening I attended my third ‘private view’ in almost as many days.  After a Friday morning yoga class a couple of us went for coffee. We talked about the day ahead and I asked Elizabeth what she was up to.  ‘Well, we’ve got the final rehearsal for ‘Fowl Play – A Farmyard Adventure’ this afternoon.  We don’t normally do shows in the evening at The Puppet Theatre Barge, but tonight we’re putting on a special performance for musicians that wrote the score for the play. ‘Would either of you like to come?’  My friend said ‘no’ but I said I’d be delighted to.

It’s a crime that I haven’t visited this floating theatre before, given I’ve lived in the area for a while now.  To say nothing of the fact that I’ve never seen a marionette puppet show either.  In the early evening I walked down the towpath, past the various brightly coloured barges and lush green foliage – the scent of honeysuckle filling my nostrils, with sounds of an accordion and violin drifting along the canal towards me.

Sure enough a violinist and an accordion player stood at the entrance to the theatre.  Their music was reminding me of Fiddler on the Roof and I asked the barman in the barge what it was.  ‘It’s Klezmer music’ he replied.  ‘Used to be played at Jewish weddings and then was influenced by gypsies in various eastern European countries like Romania for example.  At least, I think that’s what it is’.

I chatted to some of the family and friends that had gathered, and then gazed through a small porthole just above the water line the view from which was of green water reflections and Canadian geese relaxing on a nearby island.

Marionettes were everywhere, resting on beams and in all the nooks and crannies of this floating wonder.  The play started and I couldn’t wipe the smile of sheer delight off my face.  So cute, so skilled, utterly captivating.  At the end the three marionnettistes came out and took a bow – just three of them for the whole show, one of whom is my new yoga friend.

I returned home and switched on Glastonbury. The circus field is always a favourite there, and whilst I watched Chic perform, memories of visits to the cinema tent, the green fields, experiences and performances of the unique and unusual came flooding back.  1372446041518

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