On the weekend just gone, I had the most wonderful experience at the Battersea Arts Centre annual One-on-One Theatre Festival. This is a theatre festival where each performance is performed for you alone. It was incredibly intimate and at times challenging and at first I felt very nervous indeed but that didn't last long as I came to realise this was entirely the point of the festival.
The festival goers could choose from a number of set show menus. I chose Menu 9 - Reflective.
The piece I want to write about here was a lovely little history lesson from which each participant came away literally with a little slice of the past. It was called "A little bit of something beautiful" and was by Barnaby Stone actor/cabinet maker.
In the room there was a large oak beam, it was a 700 year old piece of oak that was once a beam in the attic of the beautiful Elizabethan Hardwick Hall. After sharing some facts about the beam and contemplating the past as it may have resonated in this piece of wood, the artist began hammering in a wooden nail that I was asked to choose from a pile and sanding and polishing the surface. Then he pulled across a ban saw, that was set up on a track along the floor and cut off a sliver of the beam punched with my initial and presented it to me as my little bit of something so beautiful. Held up to the light you can see evidence of the other wooden nails that have been hammered in representing other participants. The nails are in a range of woods from cherry (the redish wood), walnut (the dark one) and I forget what the light one was, ash or something. It was a truly charming performance and this piece of wood something I will forever cherish.