The White Rabbit

Wednesday, 2nd February 2005
Wild West Yorkshire nature diary

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long-tailed titThis morning there are three long-tailed tits in the crab apple tree, one female pheasant at the feeder. After a couple of days on location I'm back in the studio organising some printing. Instead of drawing stone walls, trees and crows the most exciting thing I have the chance to draw today is the vinegar pot when we go to the fish and chip restaurant for lunch. *Sigh!*

However, it's the big night at last and at 7.15 the drums roll and the curtain goes up on Alice, who soon follows the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole.

White Rabbit

Alice in WonderlandIt'll be All Right on the Night

Mad HatterThe Mad Hatter has a familiar look: he keeps fit each morning by doing a paper round which includes our street (no, not in his Mad Hatter costume).

That feisty Dormouse, the one with the Italian accent, is my other half in the backdrop painting department: Rita. She's the most multi-talented rodent I've ever had the pleasure to work with.

Nancy, our pianist, has been ill. She made it through the rehearsals but had to step down at short notice for the final performances. Wendy our producer went to a rival group's production at Ossett Town Hall at the weekend, explained our predicament and asked for help; Richard, the Priory Players' pianist, stepped in at the last minute.

'There's no people, like Show people' are there?

nineDrawing and Dancing

Must put in a word for the Nine of Spades, one of the girls in the chorus; all the young dancers were giving it all they've got but '9' seems like a natural; her actions flow with the music and she seems able to invest an arm movement or a turn with relaxed expressiveness.

I guess that dancing is like drawing; it not just a case of going through the motions, you have to 'become' what you're doing. In drawing, a meticulous tracing of a photograph might turn out to be lacking in life while in dance a technically perfect performance might seem slightly wooden.

Pantomime cowOld MacDonald A Dance to the Music of Time

Daisy (or is it Buttercup?), the pantomime cow, while not as elegant as number '9', is still very sprightly considering that she dates from 1988. My Mum made the costume in that year and Nancy the pianist tells us she has repaired the costume on dozens of occasions since.

Animal costumes can have enormously long lives. A radio carbon date on a piece of reindeer antler that got chipped off the head-dress of an English mummers' play costume revealed that it dated from the middle ages.

So Daisy the cow might still be dancing in the year 2605. Next Page

Richard Bell,

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