” There was a roaring in the winds all night;
The rain came heavily and fell in floods;
But now the sun is rising calm and bright,
The birds are singing in the distant woods.”
Sunshine after all! The Fates are kind to-day; and now that it is two o’clock you can see school crocodiles wending their way, amidst a crowd of other folk, to Government House, Harnhan7, for the Garden Fete. After a short time of wandering about the grounds (having appreciated the fruit-stall and lucky dip) we follow Alice in Wonderlandish paths to a be-grassed corner.
You, who are far away in the East, must picture a perfect summer’s day, the earth sweet smelling after rain, birds twittering in the bushes, and the buzz of aeroplanes overhead; picture a lawn dotted with trees and shut in by trim hedges. This is the stage of our drama.
Music meets our ears.
“0, it came o’er my ears like the sweet south
That breathes upon a bank of violets.”
Soft, here coma Theseus and Hypolita, with their train of Athenians clothed in brave colours. They talk of the slow crawling hours before their nuptials can be celebrated and of the weariness of waiting. Now they move into the background to make way for Quince and his fellows, who elbow, jostle and roll their way into the sunlight, quipping and jesting with one another. They are ridiculously humorous; their jokes and their simplicity are enough to make one forget all cares and laugh forever. Fairies! Did you say fairies? Yes, troops of them, gaily tripping on the lawn. Here are little butterflies and dragonflies skipping about, heralding the approach of their King and Queen. What dear delight is this our dazzled eyes behold? Fairyland itself, with all its magic mystery and joy. Puck is leaping about, with mischief gleaming in his eye. Cobweb, Moth and Peaseblossom are fluttering to and fro, their floating diaphanous wings outspread. Mustardseed waits ready to obey the slightest wish of his mistress.
And now the old, old drama is enacted. Oberon’s jealousy and desire to procure the changeling boy -the plan devised with Puck to gain his desire, the amusing (foolish?) infatuation of Titania for the strangely “translated” Bottom. Now their happy re union.
“Come, my Queen, take hands with me,
Now thou and I are new in amity.”
Now the tragically mirthful story of Pyramus and Thisbe. The wall, the lion, and the horned moon, all are here and play their parts with a zest, to say nothing of Quince, Pyramus and Thisbe, who are altogether splendid.
Now a grand finale, a march-past of the Athenians, followed by the Fairies, to end with a tableau of both groups.
We do thank all those who had a hand in getting it up, and we all realise the infinite trouble there was taken to make it so delightful. It was a dream of mirth and merriment, beautiful colours, graceful forms, sweet baby faces and butterfly wings, never to be forgotten.
K. M. SEAL.
Theseus – J. de Coetlogon. Hypolita – P. Blunt.
Philostrate – B. Medlicott. Oberon – J. Douglas.
Quince – P. Du Buisson. Titania – B. Douglas.
Snug – A. Johnson. Puck – R. Aldworth.
Bottom – C. Molony. Peaseblossom – D. Leys, B. Gervers.
Flute – M. Du Buisson. Cobweb – B. Salisbury, B. Aldworth
Snout – E. Douglas, J. Gunner. Moth – V. Gervers.
Starveling – K. Pollock. Mustardseed – D. Hesketh.
Athenian Nobles and Ladies – S. Lister V. Leys H. Phillimore. P. Scott, V. Greene, D. Hinds, P. Lee, M. Collins, P. Kempe, J. Elling, E. Gibbs, F. Wethered, E. Muir, M. Trafford, S. Robertson, D. Gubbins.