excerpt from 'Travelling Players: The Story of the Arts League of Service' pp. 164–65 (309 words)

excerpt from 'Travelling Players: The Story of the Arts League of Service' pp. 164–65 (309 words)

part of

Travelling Players: The Story of the Arts League of Service

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

164–65

type

text excerpt

encoded value

The music was the problem, as a piano was unthinkable … I sent for Edmund [Rubbra], who immediately suggested an orchestra of members of the company.  “Impossible!” I cried.  “I can only spare four, and only two of them have ever played any instrument in their lives!”  “That will be all right,” said he.  “We’ll have very simple instruments.  What have you got?”  A search among our instruments brought to light a varied collection.  He chose an Indian drum and cymbals, a wooden pipe with four notes, a triangle, and a cowbell.  Stephen Jack produced an ocarina, which he played with skill.  “Good,” said Edmund.  “All we require now is a xylophone.”  And he departed with the gramophone records, to turn up a week later with a score.  He had, he said, caused a domestic upheaval by playing the records for a whole week-end, after which, having saturated his mind with Eastern modes and rhythms, he had composed something on the same lines.

Edmund allotted to the startled actors their various instruments, and, true to Arts League traditions, they tackled their parts with a will.  The result was pandemonium, but after some rehearsals the final effect was very charming.  True, the orchestra was not always perfect, but neither were the conditions under which they had to play, and once or twice hysteria nearly got the better of them.  I can still see them, Stephen, with his ocarina, dressed for the sea chanties; Hugh Mackay, in his black cloak, with the Indian pipe; Sidney Young, in charge of both the xylophone and drum; Elizabeth Dore, Victorian in checks and pantalettes, with the cowbell; all crouched behind the curtains in a wing space two feet wide with only a flickering candle by which to see their instruments.

 

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excerpt from 'Travelling Players: The Story of the Arts League of Service' pp. 164–65 (309 words)

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