|Jasper Fforde talks to one of the cast||and takes pictures...|
I think it would actually have worked as a comic version of the play, even if you hadn't ever read the Thursday Next books, though of course knowing the context made it funnier. The audience had a script and were expected to join it, so it made us pay attention to the play as we were waiting for our next cue. I particularly liked the running gag of the board showing the family tree. Whenever another person died, a big red cross was drawn through their name. I also liked the ruse of using a Valkerie to come and retrieve the dead from the stage. The Rotunda in the hotel at Hinckley made a fair approximation of the globe, thus no curtain to bring down for scene changes or removal of dead bodies. The Tower of London was suitably imposing (see photo) and the cast did surprisingly well as they'd had virtually no rehearsal time and, apparently, different cast members had subtly different versions of the script.
The final instruction on the script was "Fold this page into a paper aeroplane and wait for your captain's instructions". Thus was the Battle of Bosworth Field and the flights of arrows simulated.
I do hope that the play will be performed again. I would certainly participate if it were to be done at another con.
Immediately after this was the screening of Dr Who in the main programme room. Having be audience participated out, I retired to my room to watch it quietly with a pot of tea. Other people have written plenty about it, so all I'll say is that I revealed my age by thinking, "Gosh, it's in colour!" I also noted that the Tardis seems to have had a makeover from a Vorlon interior decorating team. It now has a much more organic look than I remember from the 1960s. But yes, I think it worked well and I'll probably even watch it in future.
Then it was off to the reception area to meet Charlie (Allery), Ben Jeapes, Marion, Tina and Neil from rasfc, plus his wife and out to dinner at the nearby Harvester. The main course was OK, though not exciting, but the desserts were definitely acceptable.