Monday, 2 March 2009

Intimate Theatre II

We had a fantastic time at Intimate Theatre's The Golden Moment: A Family Farewell to Johnson, which was staged at the Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum in Lichfield yesterday. Below are some photos of the pre-preformance reception - you can see what a squeeze it was, getting everybody into the bookshop and small reception room. I had to get up onto the staircase to take the first picture (below), and you can see how low the beam is.

It was a great opportunity to spot some distinguished Johnsonians. I think I saw the Mayor of Lichfield (that looks like a Mayoral chain of office, above) and Richard Harris, the former Bishop of Oxford, who had come from preaching on Charles Darwin at Lichfield Cathedral. While I'm shamelessly name-dropping, I might as well mention that we also saw John Sergeant on the way - flush from his sell-out Johnson-themed show at the Lichfield Garrick the night before. (He recently enriched the public stock of harmless pleasure on Strictly Come Dancing).

Happily, we were sitting behind Dr Nicholas Cambridge and Professor Peter Martin, so were able to wish them luck on their historic walk, celebrating Johnson's Tercentenary and raising money for the National Literacy Trust.

The play, which was written and directed by David Titley, centred on the general strife in Johnson's household on the morning of his departure for London. I snapped some scenes (below), which took place in the Birth Room; there's a great portrait of Johnson's friend and mentor, Gilbert Walmsley, on the wall in the second picture.

Stuart Goodwin, as Sam Johnson (below) kindly posed for me in the Market Square afterwards; shame the Johnson statue behind him didn't come out on the photograph!

Photographs © Memoirs of the Celebrated Mrs Woffington.

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