Contributed by John Earl on Sept. 5, 2018
Some years ago I was taking a mixed group of American second year historic preservation and theatre students on a full day tour of old London theatres, back stage and front of house, finishing with Wilton’s – then dark, silent and colder than the world outside.
On arrival it began to rain and no one had appeared to unlock the door. The sophomores (yay!) were tired and hungry and I began to fear an uprising, but eventually the key arrived and we assembled, standing in the hall in a grey light and I began to explain the place to them. One of the girls quietly slipped away and a minute later she was on the dark stage, dancing, unaware of the rest of us. I don’t know what music she could hear in her head, but it must have been beautiful. It was a wonderful, fragile, unforgettable sight.
Nobody seemed to be taking any notice, but some sort of magic must have worked on the whole company. I had trouble getting them all together and back to the bus!