What does last is my love for these poems, for this book. Holding the pages of my reading copy, I realized lesbian love, lesbian sex, lesbian lives, and lesbian poets can be in conversation with literary canons. The glue of the spine on my copy of Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons has completely degraded. It flakes off when I open the book. The spine cracks when I turn the pages. Its pages are no longer bound together but laid together. This may be a metaphor for the lesbian characters in the book: no longer bound together but laid together. I first read Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons in in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I was coming out, reading my way to understanding what it meant to be a lesbian.
Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons was a sweet relief from the literature survey courses that shaped my reading life. At eighteen, Marilyn Hacker showed me through these poems what a quotidian, urban lesbian life might look like, straddling two cities, New York and Paris, and peopled with a rich cast of friends and ex-lovers.
Hacker taught me, more than any independent lesbian film, what sex could be, what it could look like, what it could feel like. I want you to make me come. Hacker is no Stein concealing her love for Toklas in repeated, benign phrases. Rather, she uses an array of explicit words to describe and celebrate female genitalia, never recoiling from the sticky, the messy, and the sensuality of lesbian bodies. The carnality of lesbian sex may be arranged within the artifice of poetic formalism, but the realities of organisms, masturbation, lust, and desire are never disguised by meter and rhyme.
Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons is the story of a year-long romance between the speaker and a younger woman, Rachel, known affectionately as Ray. In the story, Ray is twenty-five years old. Nevertheless, for years, Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons was the standard by which I judged all poetry. Oh, let me be honest, it was the standard by which I judged all aspects of my life. The poem riffs on the sonic proximity of dapple and apple and considering honeybees, male bonobos, a marmot, a magpie, a lioness, and a house sparrow. The litany of praise continues for both the day and the female beloved.
Rereading the collection, the language itself seems bound to urban intelligentsia. Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons taught me that the best place to be queer was in a city. There were periods of my life when I was out of love with poetry. You know those times. Love affairs cannot always burn so brightly; we cannot read and adore words with the same intensity every day, every month, every year.
We all have moments of alienation, despair, despondency. During one of those moments, I picked up a collection of poetry published by Copper Canyon Press. I bought it, most likely from a chain bookstore with a poetry section tucked in the back, for only one reason: it carried, on the back, the name Marilyn Hacker. Such praise. I knew it was a book I would like. I did. Hacker had celebrated lesbianism in full flower during the repressions of the Reagan administration when gay and lesbian people fought for the dignity and survival of their lives and loved ones.
By then, the ostensible gains for queer people in the s seemed to be eroding with substantial defeats of LGBT rights at the ballot box. A nervous electorate affirmed again and again in cities and states across the country that they would never recognize marriage that was not between a man and a woman. Consider these different representations of marriage. No law books frame terms of this covenant. Call it anything we want.
The defiant tone of the poet typifies attitudes to marriage among urban queers in the s: the possibility was beyond the scope of the law and beyond the scope of the imagination. What was possible and perhaps even more significant was recognizing the humanity of queer relationships and celebrating those relationships. Love, Death, and the Changing of the Seasons exemplifies these celebrations. The relationship at its center is one that begins and ends over the course of a year; it is not a binding for life.
It is a queer relationship not only because both lovers are women but also because they defy the state law , religion covenant , and social convention age. As Hacker defies convention, Factor lives inside a conventional marriage, navigating her way out to live as a lesbian. Like Hacker, Factor examines the intimate sexual and emotional lives of women. No small task, even today when too often women continue to be reduced to caricatures or sexual props. Making lesbians the centered gaze, the heroic speaker, in imaginative narratives is still a daring leap to be celebrated. To write the quotidian of lesbian life, of lesbian love and sex, is hardly ordinary.
It is life-changing, for readers and for the literary world. The everyday quality of the poems of Hacker and Factor characterize a significant breakthrough in lesbian poetry. For Factor, the natural world operates as a backdrop or symbolic inspiration for human drama and psyches—the beach in Israel, Canadian geese in the Palisades, a hibiscus, a grassy lawn, a full moon, the birds in the roof. Wings scuffling into the eaves. Bird eyes peek from the roof. How jolly for the little fellows, feathered eyeless thumbs who are birthed where I cannot rest and call my roof their home.
All three of these collections of poetry and all three of these poets combine lesbian experiences with the formal structures of poetry in a manner that is exciting and energizing for poetry and for lesbian poetry. Yet, I want to be even more direct. In Full Velvet is one of the best collections of poetry I have read in a decade. Such hyperbole invites challenge; I welcome it. Read Johnson and see if you agree. These conversations are fodder for our canon. What makes In Full Velvet great? First, it is in direct conversation with an array of other lesbian poets and queer writers, not only Hacker and Factor.
Second, the writing is rich and textured; it leaps off the page, using form and diction to create consistently transcendent experiences with language. Are you coming? They went down the Spanish stairs. Helge looked at all the little green leaves that peeped out between the stone steps. You should have seen the roof below our house last spring. There is even a little fig-tree growing between the tiles, and Cesca is very concerned about it lest it should not stand the winter, and wonders where it will get nourishment when it grows bigger.
She has made a sketch of it. I was in Paris for two months in the summer, and I think I learnt a lot in that time. But I sold it for three hundred kroner — the price I had marked it for. There are some things in it that are good. The others waited at the bottom of the stairs. Jenny shook hands with the men and said good morning. I am not a bit tired. Gram, hadn't you better take a cab home from here? Francesca hung limp on Ahlin's arm, overcome with sleep. The piazza lay white in the sunshine; the morning air was crisp and clear.
Carts and people from the side streets were hurrying past. I am as wide awake as I can be, and I should like to go for a walk. Would you think me intruding if I asked to be allowed to accompany you a little bit of the way? They came out into the Corso, and she told him the names of the palaces. She was always a step or two ahead of him, for she moved with ease between the many people who had already come out on the pavements. She drank it all in one gulp, standing at the marble counter of the bar. He did not like the bitter-sweet drink, which was new to him, but he thought it fun to look in at a bar on their way.
Jenny turned into narrow streets where the air was raw and damp, the sun reaching only the top part of the houses. Helge noticed everything with great interest: the blue carts behind mules with brass-studded harness and red tassels, the bareheaded women and dark-hued children, the small, cheap shops and the display of vegetables in the porches.
In one place a man was making doughnuts on a stove. Jenny bought some and offered him, but he refused politely. What a queer girl, he thought. She ate and seemed to enjoy them, while he felt sick at the mere thought of those greasy balls between his teeth on top of the various drinks in the night, and the taste of vermouth still in his mouth.
Besides, the old man was very dirty. Side by side with poor, decrepit houses, where greyish wash hung out to dry between the broken ribs of the Venetian blinds, stood massive stone palaces with lattice windows and protruding cornices. Once Jenny had to take him by the arm — a scarlet automobile came hooting out of a gate in baroque style, turned with difficulty, and came speeding up the narrow street, where the gutters were full of cabbage leaves and other refuse.
He enjoyed it all — it was so strange and southern. Year after year his fantastic dreams had been destroyed by everyday petty reality, till at last he had tried to sneer at himself and correct his fancies in self-defence. And so now he tried to convince himself that in these romantic quarters lived the same kind of people as in every other big city — shopgirls and factory workers, typographers and telegraph operators, people who worked in offices and at machines, the same as in every part of the world. But it gave him pleasure to think that the houses and the streets, which were the image of his dreams, were obviously real as well.
After walking through small, damp and smelly streets they came into an open space in the sunlight. The ground was raked up at random; heaps of offal and rubbish lay between mounds of gravel; dilapidated old houses, some of them partly pulled down, with rooms showing, stood between classical ruins. Passing some detached houses, which looked as if they had been forgotten in the general destruction, they reached the piazza by the Vesta temple. Behind the big, new steam-mill and the lovely little church with the pillared portico and the slender tower, the Aventino rose distinct against the sunny sky, with the monasteries on the hill, and dust-grey, nameless ruins among the gardens on the slope.
The thing that always gave him a shock — in Germany and in Florence — was that the ruins he had read about and imagined standing in a romantic frame of green leaves with flowers in the crevices, as you see them in old etchings or on the scenery in a theatre, were in reality dirty and shabby, with bits of paper, dented, empty tins and rubbish lying about; and the vegetation of the south was represented by greyish black evergreen, naked, prickly shrubs, and yellow, faded rushes.
On this sunny morning he understood suddenly that even such a sight holds beauty for those who can see. Jenny Winge took the road between garden walls at the back of the church. The walls were covered with ivy, and pines rose behind them. She stopped to light a cigarette. Here we are. A small, yellow house stood inside a fence; in the garden were tables and forms under big, bare elms, and a summer-house made of rush stalks. Jenny greeted the old woman who came out on the doorstep.
Listen to him! No, eggs and bread and wine, lettuce and perhaps some cheese. Yes, she says she has cheese. How many eggs do you want? While the woman laid the table Miss Winge carried her easel and painting accessories into the garden, and changed her long, blue evening wrap for a short coat, which was soiled with paint. There is really no light in it yet, but the background is good, I think. Helge looked at the painting; the trees looked like big grease splashes. He could see nothing in it.
Helge was not hungry. The sour white wine gave him heartburn, and he could scarcely swallow the dry, unsalted bread, but Jenny bit off great chunks with her white teeth, put small pieces of Parmesan in her mouth, and drank wine. The three eggs were already done with. I have not tasted butter since I left Christiania. Cesca and I buy it only when we are having a party. We have to live very economically, you see. We live cheaply and we eat cheaply, tea and dry bread and radishes twice or three times a week for supper — and we buy silk scarves. She had finished eating, lit a cigarette, and sat looking in front of her, with her chin resting on her hand:.
Gram — of course I have not tried it yet, but I may have to. Heggen has, and he thinks as I do — to starve or to have too little of the necessary is better than never to have any of the superfluous. The superfluous is the very thing we work and long for. At home, with my mother, we always had the strictly necessary, but everything beyond it was not to be thought of. It had to be — the children had to be fed before anything else. When you grow up in circumstances where it is a constant struggle to make ends meet, and you are always reminded of it, you sort of dare not form any opinions — in a general way — it is so tantalizing to know that the coins decide what you can afford to wish or to want.
Jenny nodded pensively. I have always believed that I have some aptitude for scientific work, and it is the only thing I would like to do. I have written a few books — popular ones, you know — and I am now working at an essay on the Bronze Age in South Europe. But I am a teacher, and have a fairly good position — that of a superintendent of a private school.
He did not answer, but continued: "It was the same thing with my father. He wanted to be an artist — wanted it more than anything else, and he came out here for a year. Then he married, and is now the owner of a lithographic press, which he has kept going for twenty-six years under great difficulties. I don't believe my father thinks he has got much out of life. Jenny Winge sat as before, looking thoughtfully in front of her. In the orchard below grew rows of vegetables, small innocent tufts of green on the grey soil, and on the far side of the meadow one could see the yellow masses of ruins on the Palatine against the dark foliage.
The day promised to be warm. The Alban mountains in the distance, beyond the pines of the villa gardens, looked misty against the soft blue of the sky. Jenny drank some wine, still looking straight ahead. Helge followed with his eyes the smoke of her cigarette — a faint morning breeze carried it out in the sunshine. She sat with her legs crossed. She had small ankles, and her feet were clad in thin purple stockings and bead-embroidered evening shoes.
The jacket was open over the gathered silver-grey dress with the white collar and the beads, which threw pink spots on her milky-white neck. The fur cap had slid back from her fair, fluffy hair. Gram — I mean, he understands you, doesn't he? Surely he sees that you can't get ahead so quickly at that school, when you have quite different work at heart? He was very pleased that I could go abroad, of course, but" — after some hesitation — "I have never been very intimate with my father. And then there is mother. She was anxious lest I should work too hard, or be short of money — or risk my future.
Father and mother are so different — she has never quite understood him, and kept more to us children. She was a great deal to me when I was a boy, but she was jealous of father even — that he should have greater influence over me than she had. She was jealous of my work too, when I locked myself up in a room of an evening to read, and always anxious about my health and afraid I should give up my post. She looked at him almost in the same way as she looked at Miss Jahrman when she nestled in her arms.
She had not noticed before what he looked like, though she was under the impression that he was tall and thin and dark. He had good, regular features on the whole, a high, somewhat narrow forehead, light brown eyes with a peculiar amber-like transparency, and a small, weak mouth with a tired and sad expression under the moustache. I was a teacher myself until Christmas last year. I started as a governess and went on till I was old enough to enter the seminary. It will last me about three years, I think — perhaps a little longer. Lately I have sent some articles to the papers, and I may sell some pictures.
My mother did not approve of my using up all the money, and did not like my giving up my post when I had got it at last after all those years of private teaching and odd lessons here and there at schools. I suppose mothers always think a fixed salary. It is the influence of my home, I know, but I could not help being anxious about the time when the money would be spent.
And I know languages. I can always find something to do in England or America. Francesca," she said, laughing, "wants me to go to South Africa with her and be a dairy-maid, for that is a thing she is good at, she says. And we shall draw the Zulus; they are said to be such splendid models. All those years I thought it impossible to get away, even as far as Copenhagen, to stay there some time to paint and learn.
When at last I made up my mind to give up everything and go, I had many a bad moment, I can assure you. My people thought it madness, and I noticed that it made an impression on me, but that made me more determined still. To paint has always been my most ardent wish, and I knew I could never work at home as hard as I ought to; there were too many things to distract me. But mother could not see that I was so old that if I wanted to learn something I must start at once. She is only nineteen years older than I; when I was eleven she married again, and that made her younger still.
You learn to see with your own eyes and to think for yourself, and you understand that it rests with yourself to get something good out of your journey: what you mean to see and to learn, how you mean to arrange your life and what influence you choose to submit to. You learn to understand that what you will get out of life as a whole depends on yourself.
Circumstances count for something, of course, as you said, but you learn how to avoid obstacles or surmount them in the way that comes easiest to your individuality, and most of the disagreeable things that happen to you are of your own doing. You are never alone in your home, don't you think? The greatest advantage of travelling seems to me that you are alone, without any one to help or advise you.
You cannot appreciate all you owe to your home, or be grateful for it, until you are away from it, and you know that you will never be dependent on it any more, since you are your own master. You cannot really love it till then — for how could you love anything that you are dependent on? Are we not always dependent on what we love? And when once you get really fond of people," he said quietly, "you make yourself dependent on them for good and all. You are not a slave; you serve willingly something or somebody that you prize higher than yourself. Are you not glad you can begin the new year alone, entirely free, and only do the work you like?
Helge remembered the previous evening in the piazza San Pietro; he looked at the city, the soft veiled colourings of it in the sun, and he looked at the fair young girl beside him. Do you ever go to the club? Via Vantaggio Cesca and I are generally at home in the afternoon. He remembered the tune, and began to hum it himself as he walked away.
J ENNY brought her arms out from under the blanket and put them behind her neck. It was icy cold in the room, and dark. No ray of light came through the shutters. She struck a match and looked at her watch — it was nearly seven. She could doze a little longer, and she crept down under the blankets again, with her head deep in the pillow. She felt for her friend's face in the dark and stroked it. I went to Prati for a bath before lunch and ate at the Ripetta, you know, and when I came home I went to bed at once.
I am thoroughly rested. I'll get up now. It's very cold; let me light the fire. Francesca placed the lamp on the table by the bed and turned slowly round in the light of it. She had put on a white blouse with her green skirt and thrown a striped scarf about her shoulders. Round her neck she wore a double row of deep red corals, and long, polished drops hung from her ears. She pulled her hair laughingly from her ears to show that the drops were tied to them by means of darning wool. Do you think they suit me? I can sit to you if you like — I'm too restless nowadays to work.
Oh dear! She came back carrying an earthenware pot of burning charcoal, and stooped down over the little stove. I will make the tea and lay the table. I see you have brought your drawing home. Let me have a look at it. I am going to make a few more sketches out there. I am planning a big picture, you see — don't you think it is a good subject, with all the working people and the mule-carts in the excavation field?
I am sure you can make something of it. I should like to show it to Gunnar and Ahlin. Oh, you are up! Let me do your hair. What a mass of it you have, child.
May I do it in the new fashion? There was a letter for you this morning. I brought it up. Did you find it? It was from your little brother, was it not? You know, Cesca, sometimes — only on a Sunday morning once in a while — I wish I could fly home and go for a stroll in Nordmarken with Kalfatrus.
He is such a brick, that boy. Francesca looked at Jenny's smiling face in the glass. She took down her hair and began to brush it again. If they come too early they can go into my room. It is in a terrible state — a regular pigsty — but never mind. They won't come so early — not Gunnar, and I don't mind him if he does, and not Ahlin either for that matter.
He has already been to see me this morning; I was in bed, and he sat and talked. I sent him out on to the balcony while I dressed, and then we went out and had a good meal at Tre Re. We have been together the whole afternoon. He is awkward, poor boy, exactly as I was at first. He is one of those people who would like to enjoy themselves, but don't know how to. If he had come by aeroplane at least.
It won't do. I should have liked to ask him here tonight, but I dared not because of you. I could not take the risk of your being discourteous to him when he was our guest. He kissed me there several times and lay with his head in my lap, and when I told him I didn't care for him he didn't believe me. You would respect them if you were not so thoughtless, for I know you only want to be good and kind. Don't be too sure of that.
But I must show you some roses. Ahlin bought me quite a load this afternoon at a Spanish stairs. You are quite right there. At home, in Christiania, I have spoilt my reputation past mending, once and for all. I don't care. You don't care for any of those men.
Why do you want. And as to Ahlin, can't you see he is in earnest? Norman Douglas, too, was in earnest. You don't know what you are doing. I really do believe, child, that you've no instincts at all. Francesca put away brush and comb and looked at Jenny's hairdressing in the glass. She tried to retain her defiant little smile, but it faded away and her eyes filled with tears. Will you put the kettle on, or do you think we'd better cook the artichokes first? His wife is already expecting a child. Jenny put the matchbox on the table. She glanced at Francesca's miserable little face and then went quietly up to her.
I know, of course, that you knew all about it.
Jenny laid the table for four. Francesca put the counterpane on the bed and brought the roses. She stood fumbling with her blouse, then pulled out a letter from inside it and twisted it between her fingers. She says — oh, she can be brutal sometimes, Borghild. Then she sank down in an arm-chair and burst into tears. She hung on his arm, and he seemed sullen and angry. I can quite imagine it. I am sorry for her — fancy allowing herself to become dependent on him in such a way.
He has brought her to her knees, I am sure. How could she be such an idiot, when she knew him? Oh, but think of it, Jenny! He is going to have a child by somebody else — oh, my God! Perhaps I never loved him really, but I should have liked to have a child by him. And yet I could not make up my mind. Sometimes he wanted me to marry him straight off, go to the registry office, but I wouldn't. They would have been so angry with me at home, and people would have said we were obliged to marry, if we had done it that way. I did not want that either, although I knew they thought the worst of me all the same, but that did not worry me.
I knew I was ruining my reputation for his sake, but I did not care, and I don't care now, I tell you. He thought it was all sham. Perhaps it was only fright, for he was such a brute; he beat me sometimes — nearly tore the clothes off me. I had to scratch and bite to protect myself — and cry and scream. The porter's wife did not want to do his rooms any longer, so I went and tidied up for him. I had a key. I scrubbed the floor and made his bed — Heaven only knows who had been in it.
She proved to me that he had a mistress. I knew it, but I did not want proof. Borghild said he had given me the key, because he wanted me to take them by surprise, and make me jealous, so that I should give in, as I was compromised anyway. But she was not right, for it was me he loved — in his way — I know he loved me as much as he could love anybody. I have never told you about it.
Hans said he had to have money — a hundred kroner — and I promised to get it. Where I didn't know. I dared not write to father, for I'd spent more than my allowance already, so I went and pawned my watch and a chain bracelet and that ring — one of those old ones, you know, with a lot of little diamonds on a big shield. Borghild was angry because it had not been given to her, being the eldest, but grandmother had said I should have it, as I was named after her. I went down one morning as soon as they opened; it was hateful, but I got the money and I took it to Hans.
He asked where I had got it from, and I told him. Then he kissed me and said: 'Give me the ticket and the money, puss' — that is what he used to call me — and I did. I thought he meant to redeem it, and said he need not. I was very much moved, you see. I stayed in his rooms and waited. I was very excited, for I knew he wanted the money, and I decided to go and pawn the things again the next day.
It would not be so horrid a second time — nothing more would be difficult. I would give him everything now. Then he came — and what do you think he had done? He played to me — my God, how he played! I lay on the floor and cried. Nothing mattered as long as he played like that, and to me alone. You have not heard him play; if you had, you would understand me. But afterwards it was awful. We fought like mad, but I got away at last. Borghild was awake when I came home. My dress was torn to tatters. I laughed.
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It was five o'clock. Sometimes he used to say: 'You are the only decent girl I have met. There is not a man who could get round you. I respect you, puss.
I wanted to give in, for I would have done anything to please him, but I could not get over my scare; he was so brutal, and I knew there were others. If only he had not frightened me so many times, I might have given up the struggle but then, of course, I should have lost his respect. That is why I broke with him at last — for wanting me to act in such a way that he would despise me.
Kiss me once more! Gunnar is kind, too — and Ahlin. I shall be more careful. I don't wish him any harm. Besides, I may marry him, as he is so fond of me. Ahlin would never be brutal — I know that. Do you think he would worry me? Not much. And I might have children.
Some day I will come into money, and he is so poor. We could live abroad and we could both work. There is something refined about all his work, don't you think? That relief of the boys playing, for instance, and the cast for the Almquist monument.
Not very original, perhaps, in composition, but so beautiful, so noble and restful, and the figures so perfectly plastic. My eyes hurt me too, and I am dead tired always. If you only would be sensible!
That is what they all say, but I am afraid. You say that I have no instincts — not in the way you mean, but I have them all right in another way. I have been a devil all this week — I know it perfectly well — but I have been waiting all the time for something awful I knew was going to happen. You see, I was right. Agostino tonight. You know that image of the Madonna that works miracles; I knelt before it and prayed to the Virgin.
I think I should be happier if I turned Catholic. A woman like the Virgin Mary would understand. I ought really never to marry. I ought to go into a convent — Siena, for instance. I might paint copies in the gallery and earn some money for the convent. When I copied that angel for Melozzo da Forli in Florence there was a nun painting every day. It wasn't so bad. I hated it. But they all said my copies were so good — and so they were.
I believe I should be happy in that way. Oh, Jenny, if I only felt well and were at peace in my mind, but I am so bewildered and frightened. If I were well, I could work, work — always. And I'd be so good and nice — you don't know how good I could be. I know I am not always good. I give in to every mood when I feel as I do at present. I am going to stop it, if only you will love me, all of you, but you especially. Let us ask that Gram here. Next time I see him I'll be so nice and sweet to him, you see. We'll ask him here and take him out, and I will do anything to amuse him. Do you hear, Jenny?
Are you pleased with me now? You know what he thinks of your work. Don't you remember what he said in Paris about your energy and your talent? Great and original, he said. He did not think lightly of you that time. Francesca sighed and sat quiet an instant. I thought you would never be able to shake that fellow off. I thought that he would come home with you and sleep here on the sofa. Jenny laughed. He went with me to the Aventine and had breakfast; then he went home. I rather like him, you know. Jenny, you are abnormally good. Have you not got enough to mother already, with us? Or have you fallen in love with him?
Jenny laughed again. I suppose he will fall in love with you, like the rest, if you are not careful. But they soon get cured, and then they're angry with me afterwards. She passed Heggen in the door with a short greeting as she hurried away. He shut the door and came into the room. You are an extraordinary girl, Jenny. I suppose you have been working all the morning — and she?
Have you finished the study? Show me. It is very good. It is powerful work. Is she lying on her bed crying, do you think? He was alone in the reading-room when Miss Jahrman entered. He stood up and bowed, but she came up to him with a smile and shook hands: "How are you getting on? Jenny and I have been wondering why we never see you; we were determined to come here on Saturday to see if we could find you and ask you to go out with us somewhere.
Have you got rooms yet? I suppose you have to pay three lire a day at least? Throw in a shipwreck, much unrequited love and a classic case of mistaken identity and your entertainment is complete. A small cast of six work their yellow cross-gartered stockings off to play all the characters between them — all for your diversion. Jenny Wren Productions have gained an enviable reputation for bringing their own imaginative and unique blend of humour and exciting, physical theatre to their performances.
Recent hit productions have included. We've set ourselves an additional challenge by having only a cast of six to play all the roles, so we're anticipating chaos backstage with all the quick changes! We hope this will add to the sense of fun we try to bring to all our shows - both for the audience and the company! In aid of the Pied Piper Appeal — making a difference to the lives of sick children in Gloucestershire. Registered charity no.