I was supposed to go down to school today to meet Giles because I’d unfortunately put my name down to go see “The Emperor Jones” at Manchester Exchange Theatre.
I say unfortunate because when I woke up I really didn’t want to go. I stayed in bed hoping to fall asleep and not wanting to look at the clock because I knew if I got up I’d have to go. When I finally arose it was eleven o’clock – I was due to meet at 12.30 down at school – so I sat around reading newspapers and eating biscuits, bread or cereal. As the hour approached I had a sneaky feeling that if I didn’t turn up Giles would probably come round in his car or something, so I ‘hid’ upstairs in my bedroom reading the Church magazine.
Then, sure enough, a car drew up and I unwillingly answered the door. It was Giles who said, “You’re in the wrong place mate.” He went to get some petrol while I quickly got ready.
In the car was Laura McCully, Julie Walker and Halyna (I can’t even say her second name). After an uneventful car drive over on the M62 to Manchester we reached the playhouse at about five past two. Mrs Bastow and her teenage daughter rolled up after a while and we duly seated ourselves in the theatre.
When the play started I was really quite glad I’d gone. The play, set in a remote jungle area, was about a self-styled Emperor and ex-slave who is eventually hunted down through “de forest” and killed by the very “bush niggers” he ruled. The whole thing was done with the minimum of sets or scenery and was really good; good lighting; good sound effects and good acting. The second play, although I didn’t enjoy it as much, was still pretty good. It was called “Chairs” and just starred two people; Frank Thornton and an old woman.
We got back to Easterby at six or seven, I’m not sure which. When I got back home “Welcome” by Santana was waiting for me. It is ace, especially “Yours is the Light” on Side 1 with Flora Purim on vocals.