Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Good Karma at the British Museum

I've been telling again at the British Museum, both last Saturday and on the following Monday and as usual it's been great (For two earlier visits to the museum go here and here) On Saturday I was telling 'Tales from Shakespeare' to the museum's young friends and I set up just in front of some Buddhist and Daoist deities. The fellow on the right was happy enough but the one immediately behind me had quite a scowl on his face, which probably had something to do with the fact he has been sitting still for nearly a thousand years and not because he didn't approve of my stories!

Buddhist deities to middle and right with daoist on the left
Click on image to enlarge

The following Monday I was telling to the older friends at the museum and this time I was sat in front of two Assyrian human headed and winged lions.  They once guarded the entrance to the royal palace of King Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) in what is now modern northern Iraq. Now some may think that they would be even more oppressive than Buddhist deities and yet they were not, for if you click on the image below to enlarge it you will see that the one on the left is actually smiling!

My own Assyrian guards!

I like to think it was because he enjoyed my 'Shakespeare's Bawdy' - A set of stories from early Tudor geste books that would have been well known to the Bard and which picked up on many of the themes that found their way into his plays - From love and death to farce in the form of disguise, deception and all manner of mishaps and mistakes. Certainly the friends of the museum seemed to enjoy themselves with 60 plus at each of my sessions and many returning to hear more tales.

Guerrilla Theatre in the galleries

I was honoured, especially since there were so many other events going on that night including 'guerrilla Shakespeare' with actors who having been given the script to Troilus and Cressida came together to perform the play without the benefit of any rehearsals what so ever. I sat in after my last session and enjoyed it immensely. Not only the performance, but also the weird and wonderful costume that some of the actors had put together, whilst others simply turned up quite casual. It all made for a surreal end to a great night.

Thanks to Sarah, her volunteers and all the other staff who stayed late to make it a wonderful night.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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