23 May 2005

Charlottetown show

Just got back from the Charlottetown show. There must be a Harley rally going on -- either that or per capita Harley ownership is enormous here on the Island. We must have passed five or six on the way back to the hotel. No sign of the tourists yet: The Season is yet to begin.)

(This is really the ideal hotel, incidentally. Affordable, tasteful, free (and good) breakfast,
reliable Internet access, hot water. What more could one ask?)

Right, the show. For starters, I performed inside what is arguably Canada's most historic building, Province House, where the Fathers of Confederation met back in 1864. A web pic:

[Province House in Charlottetown. It looked just like this today, with half as much sunshine, some cloud, and fewer flowers]

One naturally wonders if Confederation would be in better shape these days if our
patres conscripti (and matres conscriptae) had continued to meet beneath virtuous Doric instead of laviscious Gothic.

The show went quite well, though turnout was modest. I may have gone slightly overboard in the "song tones," though Dave assures me all was well. My voice began to give out towards the end; I'm still recovering from my Saint John cold.

[folding brochures prior to the Charlottetown show. Everyone gets a brochure]

I need to start thinking of how, eventually, to perform other segments of the 1758-1760 cycle of material I've developed. I presume that the main focus of popular interest will continue to be the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, since that's by far the most famous event before Confederation. But perhaps I can someday collect a large enough group of fans that I could try a two- or three-day series of performances. Or should the Tour Episode be extended significantly? One presumes that this is how the Achilles story, which is the main plot of the Iliad, was filled out to 14 000 verses: people just wanted more and more Achilles, and what had been one incident among many at the Siege of Troy gradually usurped the whole cycle, gobbling up minor incidents as it grew.

[simile in PEI]

The similes went particularly well tonight -- that is, I could feel the audience enjoying them. Funny how some like them and some don't, for no discoverable reason. Interesting, too, that I feel more of a bond with audiences now than when I began the Tour, not less, despite the fact that I really have a set text memorised by now, from which I depart only at will. (Though lately I have been bungling the burial of Montcalm in various ways; there must be some internal illogic to the sequence of details there which my subconscious keeps coughing up -- I shall have to review it.)

We have, alas, accidentally deleted the pics from St. Paul's in Halifax; to make a long story short, Spektakl' imyel bolshoy uspekh.

Congrats to my good friend Don Lavigne, who just hours ago defended his doctoral thesis at Stanford! Don is an expert the anti-epic poetry of Archilochus and Hipponax, and will be professor next year at Texas Tech. Io doctorem!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A fitting place to perform the poem.

I find the observations about the audience reaction throughout the blog particularly interesting.