Well I have left Powis Castle, and Wales all together for the slightly chillier climes of Derbyshire. My last weeks at Powis were as busy as ever, culminating in a live Baroque concert in the Ballroom on Sunday afternoon, and a play in the evening, both broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
The day involved the usual rushing around getting everything ready for the big events, but I was also trying to make sure I got a chance to say goodbye to all my lovely colleagues, and try not to get too sad about leaving. The evening play, The Misanthrope, wasn’t starting until 8 so I was going to head off an hour early and come back about 7 to set up for the play, however I was so busy running around helping the BBC people set up I didn’t get off early. The crew were really nice and remarkably laid back about the whole event, and the actors were so down to earth and friendly!
The Misanthrope was originally written by Moliere as a parody of 17th Century French court life, but this version was adapted for radio by Roger McGough, who was there on the night. He looked a little tense in the early evening but had a well deserved smile on his face at the end of the night, so I think he was pleased with how it all went. The actors were from the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and English Touring Theatre co-production. The play mocks the two-faced way in which people in French society acted with one another, with the main character Alceste deciding he has had enough. I was a little worried the humour might go over my head, but it was a very amusing story and I would recommend watching it on stage should you have the chance, I know I will be keeping an eye out for it near me!
Luckily the evening was not as tiring as I was worried it was going to be. Everyone was being so nice they just wanted me to enjoy my last evening and watch the play. I had the seat of honour on the front row next to the Earl! The play was fantastic, the actors were really good and it was very funny. The costumes were fab too, I felt a bit sorry for everyone listening on the radio as they did not get to see the costume or watch the actors at work. I was really worried about sitting at the front as I was right in-front me and I tend to be quite fidgety, and I didn’t want to ruin it for the listeners. Luckily I managed to keep still as I was riveted by the story. It was a brilliant opportunity for Powis to be part of something so high-profile, and it was nice seeing the Ballroom come to life with people and the play. Let’s hope the BBC and the Trust can continue to work together on similar ventures in the future, it was so exciting seeing Powis Castle on the adverts on TV, and just the sort of expose Powis should be getting!
I felt so lucky to have been part of the whole experience, and it was a nice last day and kept me busy to stop me feeling sad about leaving such lovely people. I have had so many unique and wonderful experiences at Powis it felt right that my last day was yet another amazing event I would never have got to be part of if I had never gone to Powis. I have been so lucky in the wonderful things I have taken part in, and already being at Hardwick I have a very good feeling this trend will continue. There are some very exciting things planned in the coming months at Hardwick Hall!
For more information about the event and BBC Radio 3’s Baroque Spring events follow this link to the official BBC website. There are also some more photos of the play and cast on the Powis Castle Facebook Page.