Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"So, Folks, What Do You Think Of The Festival So Far?"

He ( see previous post!) was cuddly. Louis was cuddly. That was the first surprise.
We expected a lean hungry type with brooding hooded eyes but he wore a large crumply linen suit and a longish white cotton shirt and he was pleasantly rounded, like a favourite uncle or a grandpa or even possibly Father Christmas.
His rather lovely musical partner, Ilona, described herself as: " middleaged in Bavarian costume"; this consisted of flirty skirt, peasant blouse, tight little waistcoat but whatever, it suited her and several Cestrian men ** were hooked ( within their suits) from the start. Ilona trilled on her instruments and giggled with Louis and smiled fetchingly into her audience at all times. And several of the Cestrian men** sighed particularly deeply when she admitted a burning teenage passion for Beethoven that even now, still dares to flare...
And the music, the poetry? It was an eclectic, exotic mix; we went to Greece, Turkey, to the vibrant Andes, to vivid parts of Asia. We visited longago centuries, jazzy dives, the Emerald Isle. We glimpsed Autumn beauty and Shakespeare's dreams and then, there was Mozart, Keats and Nana Mouskari and South American gauchos and condors winging and we learned of love that's lasted years and love that's all brand new. And all this with a quirky collection of instruments played and explored by cheerful Louis and smiling Ilona ( and bolder members of the audience too! )
And ( Ha!) there were jokes. Acker Bilk's pale-as-the-corn jokes, passed on by Louis in such affable fashion that we forgave him everything...but we groaned, and yes, we moaned but oh how we their repetition, predictability, but mostly with our sheer unbridled delight at the nerve of this portly gregarious talented man. It was a fun night and the juiciest of starts to a very refreshing Festival.
The image at start of post is Louis de Berieres' contribution to National Doodle Day; this is owned jointly by Epilepsy Action and the Neurofibromatosis Assoc.
**And Cestrian Men: that means the Menfolk of Chester!


Blogger Anne Brooke said...

He is very funny! He came to give a talk in Godalming once, and was lovely! And read us a wonderful short story about an old woman and some bikers - it was great!


8:55 am  
Blogger Anne S said...

Louis De B sounds charming from your description, not to mention his partner.

Enjoyed your reveiew of his show immensely.

11:07 am  
Blogger Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

It sounds like an absolutely brilliant bit of entertainment. Funny, I woulnd't have expected cuddly either ;-)

3:36 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

He's clearly a talented sociable guy.
Thanks Anne.

Glad you liked it.
I certainly liked the evening.

Isn't it weird how we get a mental picture of something/someone and then become convinced THAT'S what they're like....then get very surprised at the reality.
I remember yrs ago meeting a friend's partner for the 1st time; he was SO different from my expectations that on sight of this poor guy, my jaw dropped open.
My friend thought it was hilarious!

5:27 pm  

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