by Anura Guruge
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Pictures from last night provided by Revels.
Photographs by (and copyright belonging to) Roger Ide.
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Authentic & Empathetic.
Singing bordering on Divine.
Yes, I will readily admit that I love ‘Revels‘ — and have for years. But, I am also a stickler for tradition and class and will differentiate between brilliant, v. good and not so good as I did here.
This morning Teischan, Deanna and I, all veterans of Revels past, were debating whether last night was the BEST Revels we have ever seen! That alone is one heck of a testament — since I have been to about 9 and Deanna and Teischan to more than 6.
Yes, the Welshness appeals to me since Wales is one of the 4 places I consider as ‘Home’. That they actually mentioned Cwmdonkin Drive, as to where a Christmas present being delivered, had come from was an added bonus. Not sure how many people even heard the name — Cwmdonkin — or knew what it meant. I would have to think that I was the ONLY person there last night that had actually lived on Cwmdonkin Drive — directly opposite Dylan Thomas’ house.
Very authentic. A lot of men looked Welsh. The slag piles were beautifully rendered.
That they did ‘Sospan Fach‘, a classic Welsh ditty (invariably sung at Rugby matches), was another bonus. It was GOOD (but I share with you, below, my favorite version).
The requisite elements of any Christmas Revels — Morris Dance, Mummer’s Play, Sword Dance, Dona Nobis Pacem, Sussex Mummer’s Carol, Horn Dance — were of an extremely high class. But I expect that from Cambridge Revels — who are THE ‘Mother Ship’ of Revels.
The Sword Dance was exquisite and elaborate. Wow. A girl slipped and fell during it. The audience gasped as one — that was how everybody, at the edge of their seats — was engrossed in the display. She got up at once and continued without a hitch. Given the reaction from the audience they might want to incorporate that slip into future performances.
Musically it was a Master Class, especially the signing. Bravo. THANK YOU.
The singing segments in the Second Half were goose bump inducing. The audience signing Dona Nobis Pacem was WOW! Well it is Cambridge.
Well I do NOT want to appear that I am gushing TOO MUCH since we consider Revels North, at Dartmouth, OUR Revels. So we don’t want them to think that I am glorifying Cambridge too much. SMILE. We go to the Revels North ‘Scottish Bash‘ next week. Yes, TWO (2) Revels for 2015.
Brilliant production. Outstanding performance. Bravo. Kudos.
Even MORE pictures by Roger Ide.
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MY Favorite rendition of ‘Sospan Fach‘ — and OF COURSE it is by Max Boyce.