THE COMPANY OF PLAYERS
ROSENCRANTZ and GUILDENSTERN. Enter BRADLEY
BRADLEY - My excellent good friends! How dost thou,
Guildenstern? Ah, Rosencrantz! Good lads, how do ye both?
ROSENCRANTZ – Well met.
GUILDENSTERN – Well met, dear friend, well met indeed.
Your countenance seems radiant, your smile warm and wide,
It lights the gloom as cock-crow on a Summer’s morn.
Methinks such uncall’d for happiness, some minstrel has inspir’d.
BRADLEY – No single minstrel filled my ears to cause this grin to form.
A company of players did I see.
ROSENCRANTZ – Pray tell what players? Whence from they sprang?
BRADLEY - Two summers back a dream was had by Said The Maiden’s Jess.
She dreamt a group of minstrels who would praise the Bard in song.
With fellow Maidens Kath and Hannah, this tribute group was born.
Kim Lowings, Kelly Oliver, Daria Kulesh, Minnie Birch a female septet form’d.
With Chris Cleverley, Lucas Drinkwater and Sam Kelly the company complete.
GUILDENSTERN – Forsooth, a company indeed. Where heard thee this dectet?
BRADLEY – A full days march from London Town on tow-path by the Thames
Deep in the heart of commuter belt, an alehouse call’d The Lamb.
Twice-honoured CAMRA tavern, I’m certain there are postage stamps
With larger floorspace.
A tiny makeshift stage was laid against the rear,
This stage, tho’ minimal, quite took up half the bar.
Then half this stage was taken by Kim’s harpsichord-like keys.
With Drinkwater’s bass, stringed like a lute, contending for the rest.
T’would have been a strain to fit just one musician on this stage.
The full company of players, would p’raps have been a challenge.
Sam, tho’ had hied to Ireland’s soil, so only nine remain’d.
Three score or four, we lucky revellers o’erfilled the tavern’s bar.
So stage and tavern, both alike, were fill’d unto the brim.
The minstrels sang of The Tempest, the Scottish Play as well,
Of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, Midsummer Dreams, and Sonnets.
‘Till called back on by baying crowds, an encore to perform -
An allegory of star cross’d love: Froggy Went A Courting.
ROSENCRANTZ – So where might I, to hear them go?
BRADLEY – Alas. This was tour’s end.
But don’t despair, they’ll tour again, of that I’m certain sure.
When Summer turns to red and gold and Autumn frosts start biting,
They’ll release a phonographic disc. A must for your collection.
So goodnight unto you all. Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And the Company of Players shall restore amends.
Ye Role Of Entertainment
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk
But Thinking Makes It So
Up And Down
The Song Of The Philomel
Method In The Madness
You Must Needs Be Strangers
It Was A Lover And His Lass
Froggy Went A Courting
Pete Bradley (with help from William Shakespeare)
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