It was great being part of the Thames Festival this weekend when that admirable, and to me, very supportive, theatre group White Rabbit performed another of my short stories in their on-going project, Are You Sitting Comfortably? and, judging by the turnout, there really is an appetite out there for that good age-old tradition in enjoying being read a good story or yarn.
This was my third time with White Rabbit and their first outdoor production. I have never grown out of the enthusiasm of listening to someone reading me a story, I have also never lost my excitement in the buzz of performance in front of a crowd. In this case the South Bank of the Thames, just along from the National Theatre darlings, was swarming with a healthy and energetic crowd making the whole event a real thrill….even the organizers seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Even though the extrovert part of my personality is never too shy in coming forward, my nicer, shyer side was more than happy that, tonight, my stuff was being performed by a professional actor and all I had to do was sit back trying not to look too smug or self-conscious and then to take my applause in a gracious and modest way. I think I did OK.
The theme for the stories was the river and all who sail on her…..and that included pirates, one of my personal obsessions, so my story, Ahoy! about a pirate wannabe, was appropriate enough.
White Rabbit is really Bernadette Russell who makes a convincingly saucy sailor and Gareth Brierley who performed my story with a lot of energy and, surprizing to me, real emotion. He brought a tear to my eye hearing my own story read out loud for the first time. Thanks to both of you for this great event.