If I hadn’t seen it for myself, I might not have believed it – an open air promenade performance with 40 attendees, all organised and resourced by members of Art Plumstead. Luckily the weather was on our side, mild and dry with very little breeze to play havoc with the lanterns.
At the appointed time and place a veritable throng, some of them in suitable attire and carrying lanterns, gathered to hear about the origins of Halloween traditions in Europe and America, before being offered Soul Cakes, part of a late mediaeval custom that persisted in parts of England into the 20th Century. Then the audience was led on a mysterious route past a dazzling light to an area beside the pond where they were greeted with smoke, incense and the sound of drums to hear excerpts from Beowulf.
As soon as the acting area was plunged into darkness at the end of the performance, the audience was led to a different spot to enjoy mulled wine and savoury scones, while Alison performed her poem, ‘Beware the Banshee’. Then after a short interval, it was time to visit the final setting, where Erik read an adaptation of ‘The Sexton’s Adventure’, by Sheridan le Fanu. Meanwhile, let us not forget the vital input of Karen, John, Rose and Andrew who beavered away to make all the effects appear and disappear as if by magic, and everyone who entered into the spirit of the event by loaning equipment and bringing treats to share.