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.
Halloween – a chance to get creative with a gourd and a lino cutter
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.
Erik holds the audience in thrall
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.
Everyone who attended the AP inaugural wine-tasting event organised by Erik had a very enjoyable evening. There were a few surprises, higher cost did not necessarily guarantee a more favourable response from the participants. In each of the five rounds, we compared three different wines and awarded it from 1 – 3 points depending on what we thought of it. We also had a go at suggesting which one we thought was the most expensive. The third round was the tasting round, and allowed us all to see for ourselves whether we thought the red, white or rose wine went best with a variety of foods. It was a superb way to spend an evening, made all the more enjoyable for the fact that we could walk (or stagger) home. See below for a fuller description of the evening’s entertainment, purloined from another local blog.
I’m getting hints of Plum – APs meet for a wine-tasting
10 people gathered just north of Plumstead High Street for a full-on wine tasting. Why? Because its not the kind of thing that happens in Plumstead (outside of few school fund-raising events, possibly, maybe) and Art Plumstead is all about plugging gaps in our local life.
The event was designed around a bit of internet research as well as a few personal experiences of attending commercial tastings, a lot of shopping and a some furniture rearranging.
Guests had to guess the most expensive wine in each round with a prize for the winner. Each participant also scored each glass (they tried 15 in total) and the winner was, surprisingly, the lone rosé wine of the evening.
Winner of the Grand Prix de L’ Art Plumstead 2013
Foncaussade Parcelles Bergerac Rose 2011 available from Waitrose at reduced price of £6.39 (offer ends 30th April)
The surprise budget wine was the Aldi classic Baron St Jean
at a mere £2.99. The most expensive wine of the evening was also unexpected result – it came rock bottom ( a placing I find unfair but, hey, the people have spoken). It was the Jean Luc Colombo Crozes-Hermitage also available from Waitrose.
There was some educational purpose to the event too. I think some people learned something about interpreting labels and the pitfalls of relying on only one indicator such as vintage or price when selecting wine.
Wine is a complex but also very enjoyable subject of study.
The order of wines from best to worst along with other results from the night can be found here
And thanks to Ali for the loan of the wine glasses!