After a lunch of leftover stew and bread, we readied ourselves and set off for Bath. The cycle in is getting slightly easier, although we were still pretty knackered when we got in… not to mention very sweaty!
We got to The Grapes at about 4pm, just for the Liverpool v Newcastle game, which pleased Tom greatly! Things got even better, as Gavin the guy who runs The Grapes (and possibly the most enthusiastic man in the world) got the chef to rustle us each up a roast dinner!! It was possibly the most satisfying meal any of us have had, and it was even accompanied by a pint!
After the match most of the football fans buggered off, so we were left with only a handful of people to perform to. We decided to play a bit of music to get them going, while we waited for more people to arrive. The songs went down really well – even though we were still a bit rusty – and the audience had grown, so we decided to go for it with The Wife of Bath’s Tale. At first the audience weren’t too sure what to make of three blokes in dresses, but they soon got into it and started really engaging with us, which was great. Our brave Sir Alex was fantastic as well. The space was a bit of a challenge, but it was one that we worked pretty easily.
Afterwards, Matt and Alex, who own both The Saracens Head & The Grapes, let us go upstairs for hot showers. To say that they were good would be an almighty understatement…after wet-wipe washes and washing in buckets, they were bloody heavenly!! We arranged to go back to the grapes between 2&3pm…same deal – perform for a hot meal and a shower. Fantastic!!!
This made the cycle home seem a lot easier, and on the way we managed to scavenge some bread a supermarket had thrown out that night. The only bad point was Darius getting a puncture as we were getting into Wellow.
The next morning Darius set about fixing both his and Nathan’s bikes, and thank God he knows what he’s doing! He fixed his puncture and made adjustments to Nathan’s bike, so he could actually use his lowest gears. This made the cycle into Bath – after a lunch of baked beans and bread – infinitely easier and we actually managed to cycle the whole way, rather than getting off and pushing up steeper hills.
In Bath we cycled to Widcombe, to go to the headquarters of the Natural Theatre Company, whom we had met in the pub a few nights earlier, when, after a couple of pints – thanks to the extremely generous Artistic Director, Ralph – and plenty of discussion, they asked us to do a 10/15 minute version of The Wife of Bath’s Tale at their Christmas Cabaret, on the 29th of November, which is incredible. It became even more incredible when Ralph showed us round their building, as we realised the history and calibre of their company. They have been going for 45 years, performing in over 70 different countries, and to people such as the Queen and Margaret Thatcher. Unfortunately they recently had their arts funding cut, making performing a lot harder for them, but they are still continuing to do their brilliant street performances; including their very popular Flowerpot Heads and Cone Heads. These two pieces in particular are very visually striking and allow them to cross language barriers.
The fact that there is little funding in the arts these days and many companies are having their funding cut, make our work that little bit more poignant.
It is amazing that we have managed to build a relationship with these people, and the Christmas Cabaret promises to be a great evening. So check out their website for details (www.naturaltheatre.co.uk) and come on down! Ralph even gave us a carrier bag full of food as payment for our participation on the 29th, which is greatly appreciated.
This afternoon we will be heading into Bath to busk some of our music, before our performance at about 8.30 at The Porters, George Street. If you have nothing to do this evening, come and watch! It is free, but we would appreciate a tin of beans or any other food you could donate.
24 days to go and things are still looking good. We are continuing to be astounded by people’s generosity and responses to our project and performances. We still haven’t caught a pheasant, but Darius has fashioned a Dutch Arrow so it’s only a matter of time.
Here is a vid of when we got lost the other day…
And some photo’s of what we’ve been up to…