The Canterbury Tales company spent the afternoon in Ham House finalising our plans for our show on May 21st. They put together a presentation for Gary and customer services manager Gabe, and went through in some detail the running of the day.
It's a highly ambitious event. We'll begin at 11am with some performances by local school children on Ham village green before heading off on a pilgrimage to perform at hourly intervals The Friar's Tale at The Royal Oak, The Reeve's Tale at The Brewery Tap, The Merchant's Tale at The Hand and Flower and The Nun's Priest's Tale at The New Inn. From there we'll head down the avenue to arrive at the back gates of the house and begin the show itself in The Wilderness at 5.30pm.
There are some problems with logistics. We're hoping to have a large audience and at present we don't have enough stewards. Catering is also an issue. Gary wants to bring in a hog roast, which we think is a great idea, but do we stop the show to enable the audience to buy or only open afterwards?
In the main though things are on track. We walked the show, ending up in the cherry garden for the final benediction - a chance for us to sing outdoors for the first time - a bit of a release that for all the obstacles still to overcome offered a glimpse of the potential beauty of the work. It could be very special day. .
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.