What is wonderful at times is the wealth of different experiences life offers during a single day if one is open to the challenge. I am thinking of last Saturday, February 20, when I went to see “Red Velvet”, a production at the Garrick theatre in London by the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company.
Some of this company’s plays have turned up at the Kino cinema in their Special Events – “live” screen evenings with links to current theatre, ballet and musical productions – but this is not one of them.
However it is a brilliant play about actors and acting, challenging the public, critics and fellow actors in a play about a play, a performance of Shakespeare’s “Othello” set in 1833, which then spans forward through an actor’s career.
Slavery is about to be abolished in the British Empire, though people are rioting about it (both for and against), so bringing a black established American actor to play the Moor, Othello, brings out all the prejudices of the critics and society in the 1830s – even though the audience in the play watching the black actor applaud him.
Using the journey back to Rye as a transition to the next item on my itinerary, the Race Night at Tilling Green Community Centre (a fundraiser for drama group “Acting up in Rye”), I managed to get the train which in theory would get me there in time.
However, true to expectations, the train left Charing Cross 15 minutes late which meant I missed the Rye train in Ashford by two minutes. It is so frustrating that the companies who run the London and Rye trains cannot communicate with each other and find a solution to the problem that a lot of people living in Rye have complained about – a better connection between the two.
I had to wait one hour for the next Rye train which of course made me late for the beginning of the Tilling Green event. When I got there it was under way and I was unable to gain entry into the building.
Luckily I had music to look forward to at the Cinque Ports Arms pub, near the bus stops by Rye station. The Brillos, a funky jazz/blues ukulele band, were performing, getting the audience excited and clapping, even dancing with their fusion of eclectic music. Catch them when you can.
The Brillos are Steve Blattman (soprano ukulele), Hugh Kermode (tenor ukulele), Ben Graham (concert ukulele and harmonica), and Simon Parrish (bass ukulele) with Tony O’ Leary (hidden above) on the drums.
Photo: Heidi Foster