“Feast of St. George” – Jabberwocky goes down a treat with London Crowds

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Well here are photo’s from Saturday as promised.  There are also a few press photographers who picked us up as well:

http://www.demotiximages.com/photo/1976155/feast-st-george-trafalgar-square-london

http://static1.demotix.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/a_crop_medium_aspect/1900-4/photos/1366500640-st-georges-day-celebrations-in-trafalgar-square_1977584.jpg

We had a ridiculous 2 am wake-up call to get us to Lancaster in time for the Megabus which, to our relief, actually arrived.  It is quite hard to believe that any buses really set off at 3.21am in the morning but, sure enough, it was true.  We then got as much shut eye on the journey as possible and arrived in London with plenty of time to get to Trafalgar square.

I had anticipated sunny weather and brought my sun-cream along but what I didn’t think to do was to put it on my hands, which got quite badly burnt without my realising it till later in the day.  The strong sun did make for very clear shadows though and it was not too windy either.

I was a little apprehensive about how my new costume would behave and about performing in such a high profile place.  But I needn’t have worried, the costume went down a treat and did not misbehave in any way.  I actually had people wanting their photo taken with me before I even did any performing.  There were also large numbers of press photographers zooming towards me whenever I came out from the changing area after a break.

As to the location, I soon realised that it was not really scary at all and was exactly the same as performing in any other place or event I’ve been involved with elsewhere.  The set-up was actually like a bigger version of the “Masquepony” camping street arts festival I did in Cartmel last year.  They had a lot of wooden tables set up for picnicking or to eat something from one of the many food stalls.  These were intended to represent a spread of great British food of different types.  So I tried to entertain people as they were eating but moved off to other parts of the site when the heavily amplified bands were playing on the bandstand.

Whenever I performed the show, lots of people would crowd round to see what was happening and everyone seemed to like it.  A lot of people seemed astounded and to have never seen anything like it before.  When I pressed one man further, asking if he’d really never seen shadow puppets before, he said that he had seen them in films and on T.V. but not in real life.  I suppose one reason may be that street theatre exposes people to art forms that they wouldn’t necessarily seek out on purpose for themselves.

As always in London, there were a broad range of Nationalities and ethnicities, all of whom seemed to enjoy my show.  One thing I kept wondering about was how many locals were there, how many people were visitors coming in specially for the festival and how many tourists from abroad.  I think there must have been a mix, but as it is a regular London event I think probably the majority would have been local.

As always there were a couple of “Jabberwocky” fans who recognised the poem but I think a few others assumed it was the tale of St. George and the Dragon.  One person asked if they would have had people doing shows like mine in medieval times.  I explained that they probably wouldn’t have had shadow puppets in this country at that period, though strolling entertainers and ballad singers would be common.

Tim, my husband, was of course a marvellous help as always.  I could have managed to do it by myself at a push but it was great not to have to carry everything myself through the underground system.  And he, of course, took the lovely photographs above.  Needless to say, we had a lazy day on Sunday as we did not get back home till about 3am.  I think we’ll be recuperating a few days more.

Overall it was a lovely day and the organisers were a very friendly bunch and made us feel very welcome.  They also told us how much they’d enjoyed our performances which is always nice to hear.

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