Any monk, but especially an Anglo-Saxon one, must keep his word; so please enjoy the pictures below from the world premiere of Daisy Black's 'The Bayeux Tapestry: The Stitches Speak', which was performed as a rehearsed reading last Saturday at the 50th annual International Congress on Medieval Studies at Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA.
If you missed my review (may the Lord forgive you), you can catch up with it here.
All images courtesy of William the Bastard, aka Patricia Bracewell.
The play employed the dramatic device of two embroiderers interacting with the scenes of the Bayeux Tapestry as they finish embroidering its text. Here, Master Embroiderer, Gale Owen-Crocker (left) and Apprentice Embroiderer, Daisy Black (the writer and director of the play, right) assess the final battle scene. A bloody mess, by all accounts.
James Howard was a noble Harold Godwinson... and a crafty, cheese-stealing fox, and a megalomaniac Wolf King (both animals are from the Aesop's fables in the Tapestry's borders). Was Daisy Black commissioned by the Normans, I wonder?
Jill Frederick played both Bishop Odo and a court buffoon. With that brolly in hand, I can't quite work out which one she is here.
Novelist Patricia Bracewell showed considerable acting aplomb in her confident portrayal of William. Well, I had to say something nice about the Conqueror, grrrrr. Oh, and those leggings aren't bad, I suppose. Not as good as Guy's (see below)...but not bad.
The Anglo-Saxon Monk was worked very hard, I can tell you. Here, he played Edward at the moment the saintly king apparently promised the throne to Harold – or did he?! In case you're wondering, I was told by the director (the footstool, appropriately) to look like I'm about to pop my clogs. I'm nothing if not obedient.
Sincerest apologies for the blurriness of this picture... but it is an action scene! For me it was memorable for the way the poor deer held a perfect scream for 15 seconds without drawing breath... well done, Robin Netherton. Impressive animal noises from the rest of the team, too!
'The Stitches Speak' incorporated an experimental workshop two days before the performance to allow volunteers to join the cast. Here, the marvellous Chris Petty took on the role of the megalomaniac lion from one of the borders' fables, and brought her own special style to the part. My second favourite image...
Well of course this is my very favourite pic! Every show needs a pair of leggings like those! (Actually Caribbean rugby socks, so I've been told).