On Monday, our inimicable Geraldine Cook put together our very own World Book Night event at the Windermere Pub (well Brent weren’t going to!), celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday and St George’s day in one fell swoop.
Monday night saw a fizzy and stirring medley of sonnets and songs with scenes from A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, performed by players from the Harrow Caledonian Society, before we were asked to Brush up your Shakespeare, who’s reading him now? by Kevin Johnson and Danny Green from KLOS Musical Theatre reading from Kiss Me Kate (based on ‘The Taming of the Shrew).
In another part of the forest, we saw Rosalind, Touchstone and Jacques ( from As You Like It), John of Gaunt’s great ‘This Sceptred Isle’ speech and Portia played by Gaynor Lloyd from Barham library. Gaynor is a solicitor and her stirring recitation was a reminder of Brent SOS Libraries’ own advocate Diana Rose QC, who so eloquently put the case for the closed libraries in the Court of Appeal. Then fiery Cllr. Paul Lorber (Lib.Dem) as Henry V, declaiming the famous speech to rouse the troops. The irony of this was not lost on battle hardened library campaigners!
A knockabout comedy St George’s quiz was provided by Kayla (www.kaylascomedy.co.uk) before Jake and Renaldo from St.Joseph’s Primary School Wembley, who had seen the flyer for Where There’s a Will, stormed the stage with their impromptu and puckish reading of Faeries. They were a credit to their families and their school and seemed quite at home with the Bard, sadly unlike a kindly Brent library assistant, twice their age who wasn’t sure if Shakespeare was fiction or romance, much to the astonishment and despair of bystanders.
Music was provided in the shape of harmonica and accordian which rounded off the evening with a very english sing-song of ‘Daisy Daisy’, ‘My Old Man’, ‘Show me the way to go Home’ and ‘Pack up your Troubles’ swelled around the pub in jovial community singing not heard in the area for a couple of generations. Finally Sonja Nerdrum from the Royal Opera House and Cricklewood Library gave a beautiful account of ‘Who is Sylvia?’
The evening also saluted the first Community Library, opened last Saturday by Barham Library Campaigners who have now signed up over 50 new members. Most of these were children who had keenly felt the loss of their local library.