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Shakespeare Revisited - Mike Hendra photos

Saturday 14 September at AQSC saw the hosting by the Club of the famous bard one William Shakespeare esquire, together with Sir John Falstaff and Katherine “the shrew” Minola of Padua.

William describes Sir John as a fat, vain, boastful, and cowardly knight who spends most of his time drinking at the Boar's Head Inn, associating with petty criminals and living on stolen or borrowed money. In truth he has trimmed down somewhat and on Saturday was most circumspect in his consumption of alcohol although there may still be some question regarding his associates. It was speculated that the change was brought about by Sir John currently chasing a couple of merry married women in the Windsor area so perhaps ardour is the reason for the transformation.

Katherine is described as a comely maid the daughter of Baptista Minola a resident of Padua in Italy. However, more recently she has been living with Petruchio in New Malden. It was thought that living with the man had tamed her fiery Latin temperament somewhat but from her attack on men on Saturday it is clear that she can still be sharp-tongued. The hostility towards men that had so distressed her father is not at all tamed but now she is able to get the things she wants more cunningly. Instead of taming her, living with Petruchio has taught her even more devious ways of achieving the things she wants. Poor man!

So with these characters Alastair, who was suitably dressed for his part, introduces us to his own version of the plays of the bard and it was a great fun. The characters were played by Mike Baker as Sir John and Jean Maracchi who was exceeding well cast as Katherine and each had worked very hard on their presentations. Several of the ladies also dressed for the theme and they looked stunning. As accompaniment Roger brought his keyboard, Pat Halling his violin and the assembled company managed several straggly versions of “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”.

Alastair had also planned, prepared and cooked the dinner, a three course affair of Game Pie, Elizabethan Chicken and Spotted Dick. As an accompaniment he had made a Mead Punch which certainly lived up to its name. He had also tamed three comely wenches for kitchen duty in the shape of Debby Lea, Diana Carpenter and Jean Maracchi and did they work their butts off! To give the place a “Boar’s Head Inn” appeal Pete Carpenter and I kept the liquor flowing from the bar while Frank Rainsborough captured the events on camera.

In writing this I looked across the production and it was astounding how much effort went into making the evening a success. Aside from the obvious front of house team, the Wednesday evening attendees set up and laid the tables. Roger and John had purchased stock for the bar. Several of the guests (mostly the ladies as usual) helped serve food, clear tables, wash-up the dishes and the glasses. After most had gone home on Saturday a small group cleared, cleaned up, left and locked up. On Sunday another anonymous group removed the chairs and tables leaving the Club ready for Sunday sailing. All of these people helped because they wanted to, unfortunately I can’t name them all so I will not try, but together they are the manifestation of the spirit of Aquarius. Thank you all!!!

So now haul out your Lederhosen or Dirndl for Oktoberfest!