We had a wonderful couple of days in Suffolk last week. First of all on the Benjamin Britten Trail, the highlight of which was a visit to the Red House, where Britten and Peter Pears lived through the 60s and 70s. Apparently they were hoarders,so with the help of receipts, travel itineraries, letters and photographs the archivists had a wonderful time recreating the house pretty much as it was when it was their home.
Britten is on my mind at the moment as his ‘Rejoice in the Lamb’ is one of three pieces our choir (The Lewes Singers) is performing in a concert in a few week’s time. The words are taken from the Christopher Smart poem of the same name, and the piece is mercurial and tricksy, not easy to perform well. But we have so many fine singers in the group so I’m confident it will be DARN GOOD. (And speaking of Christopher Smart, my Smart-influenced paean to snooker player Ronnie O’Sullivan just sank without trace in the Ambit poetry competition – boo! But it’s not bad – I WILL place it somewhere *evil laugh*)
Last week’s trip also took us to the Poetry Prom at Snape Maltings, with the very funny Ian McMillan and John Hegley. John’s set had a lot more melancholy about it, although his put-down to the over-enthusiastic audience members who started clapping in time to one of his sing-song poems (‘If I’d have wanted a rhythm section I’d have hired one!”) was the best moment of the night for me. Ian McMillan however is just irrepressible. My long suffering husband (on the drive there, his announcement that “I hope it’s not going to be just a couple of old blokes reading poetry!” had me momentarily stumped) actually laughed his head off.