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The Waste Land Revisited

June 12, 2022

Yesterday’s programme of words and music was a celebration not only of Eliot’s great work but also of the collaboration and friendship of twenty four writers and performers, some of whom had never met in person before. Faces remembered from on-screen boxes turned into three-dimensional human beings with extraordinary skills. We have been working on this for the best part of a year, mostly on Zoom. The five editors got together twice in a cafe in Bath to work on a script collated by Sue Boyle, who has inspired and guided the project from its beginnings. Some excellent writing had to be omitted due to the limited performance time. I don’t doubt that it will find its place in the world.

I had the privilege of singing the rather mysterious song below. The words are by Sue Boyle, tune by me. I have a recording on my phone, but I entirely lack the know-how to make it available here.
My thanks to Peter Reason for giving me a D-minor chord to start me off.
Peter’s own song, Dark Times, had me in tears. Miranda’s songs were spellbinding. Sylvia’s feat of channelling Marie Lloyd was uncanny. Sally’s embodiment of Madame Sosostris and Graeme’s chillingly unhinged Tom Eliot were awe-inspiring. Mark and members of the cast made sure that everything ran smoothly. Everyone did their best and it was pretty dam’ good.

Thanks for a wonderful day to all the cast, to Morag Kiziewicz for her support, and of course to the audience for generously giving up most of a beautiful summer’s day to sit under the fabulous painted ceiling of The Elwin Room and listen to us.

Three poets and a rain-stick. Photo by Verona Bass.
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