During the evening of 23 July 2016 the ESU Loire Valley joined forces with the English Language Library in Angers to celebrate the life and work of William Shakespeare and to mark the 400th anniversary of his death. The tribute took the form of a presentation of readings and short scenes representing a variety of Shakespeare’s works, following the themes of comedy, tragedy, romance and fantasy.
Around eighty people attended the event which took place at the property of ESU member, Philippe de Nombel in St. Georges-sur-Layon. Members of both associations together with their friends were able to chat and enjoy the lovely surroundings over an aperitif before taking their places in the little theatre for the first half of the entertainment.
The cast of twenty-four had been rehearsing since early May under the direction of producer Maggi Law, who together with husband Peter had put together a varied and entertaining selection of sonnets and speeches and short scenes representing a wide range of Shakespeare’s works.
During the interval, we were able to enjoy supper in Philippe’s lovely gardens. All those attending had been asked to take along a dish to contribute to a bring and share picnic. This was served beside a former schoolroom allowing all those present to glimpse yet another aspect of this interesting property.
There were yet more treats in store for the audience in the second half of the performance. We had been promised a feast for the eye and ear. We had been promised a programme of tragedy, comedy, fairies, witches, kings, love, songs and Bottoms. These we had in abundance, and much, much more besides.
Our thanks to Philippe for allowing us to use his property and to appreciate its fascinating history; to Maggi and Peter Law for the hard work they had put in over a long period of time to ensure the success of the presentation; to all who gave their time to learn lines and rehearse their contributions to the performance; to committee members for giving up their time to ensure the smooth running of the event and last but not least to Bouvay Ladubay who supplied the bubbles for the aperitif.
The Shakespeare evening 2016 will be remembered and talked about for a long time to come.