Ah! St Paul’s area on a Saturday morning is peaceful. Into The Wren Suite we filed although the ticket said “The Churchyard”. Who kens?
What a technological treat and feat is that project. I wanted to ask how the American project academics engaged with people local to themselves as I suspect there were crowds of volunteers aka white posh drawl inflected interns doing much of the drone work.. Could be wrong, eh? Was never invited to ask about the real practicalities of a cross Atlantic piece of wizardry as the event MC wanted us out before time. Shoot. I’d already been gunned down by groans when I had remarked that the visuals I was seeing didn’t make me feel part of the place (“this is where you are”) as only one gender seemed to be represented in the prologue and the material.
As f0r John Donne, poet of fleas and sensuousness, he took bottom rung in what it is really all about; presenting theatre-history in a Google library.
Now to Google to the website and listen to two hours of an actor reading Donne’s Gunpowder Sermon in a right Northern accent, complete with a backdrop of bird-song, doggy woofs and sounds surmised. In real life we could hear a police siren outside.
Being careful at all times to pronounce the name Dun and not Don, I went along with the other 1299 people to listen to the free event from Poets In the City of readings and sung words of John Donne. And we were in cold and beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral.
I was there too early so did the tourist thing and sat on the steps, windblown and sometimes for a second, warm in the two-second sun bursts. A sushi restaurant employee came to me with a tray of sushi; watery fishless nonsense.
There is so much echo in the Cathedral that the sound engineer must have had a nightmare setting up her mics and wotnots. People behind me were moaning that they couldn’t really catch the words of the poems. Likewise but I’d sat quietly reading some of the guy’s works at home having finished an essay for the Open University so was able to recognise familiar rhymes.
It was all good, good, good. Then at 8.23pm the windows up high changed colour from light grey to deep blue as the night sky came in. How fantastic was that. The walls and ceilings of St Paul’s glitter with gold leaf so the blue and gold together were magnificent. The event finished at 8.30.
Watching on SkyArts some rib-cages doing ballet to Bolero.. Bejart and Paris Opera Ballet. Boy fest.