Tuesday, 30 July 2013
There can perhaps be nothing more English than watching an event in the pouring rain. Considering the recent spell of excellent weather it really was bad luck that the al fresco performance of Pride and Prejudice at the National Trust's Ightham Mote should have been greeted and terminated by a storm of Biblical proportions on Saturday night. We arrived as rain swept across the lawns, tripping over our folding chairs and picnic hampers as we desparately tried to find a viewing position that didn't involve other people's umbrellas and massed ranks of hooded kagoules. I sat on a packet of wet scotch eggs, chucked a big glass of rose over the people in front and tried to keep an even temper as my chair decided to fold itself back up again and slowly sink into the grass. It was at this point that a lady thrust herself upon me and asked "Would you like to buy a raffle ticket?" I expect to hear of my membership suspension from the National Trust shortly.
But sincerest congratulations to the Chapterhouse Theatre Company for such a valiant and utterly professional attempt to give us the play for half an hour before a classic lightning strike threatened to take out the entire Bennet family. Two for one in one case as the actor playing Mr.Bennet doubled up as a very convincing D'Arcy, presumably doing very quick changes behind a convenient and very damp shrub.