My friends Ian and Scott, who have retired to the town of Banff in the Canadian Rockies - lucky bastards - sent me a Blue Mountain birthday card: its in the style of one of the old Silly Symphonies with a mouse singing a little number called It's a B-Day Ditty. I now can't get it out of my head - thank you on so many levels guys!
In the past I've spent my Birthday in Hanoi, Mexico City, Cairo, Warsaw, Chicago, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and several other places that I can't remember because I'm old. However if anyone had told me I'd spend one at a children's theatre in Roma I would have checked for some of that Castel Sant'Angelo weed Aud Hat was talking about.
It was torrential rain Sunday afternoon and of course the idea of even getting a line through to the radio taxi was absurd. Off we headed five blocks to Via Constanza, umbrellas losing the battle against the driving rain, the 60 Express to Piazza Venizia and a wait for the H Express over to the other side of the river. Our friend Walter was appearing in a production of Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince (Il Principe Felice) at Tearo Le Maschere in Trasteverre. Its a small (100 seats) but charming theatre with a professional company devoted to presenting a season of plays for children. We joined our friends Vincenzio and Larry and Walter's partner Robert in the back row with three other men - all friends of the actors... and Dorothy.
Four actors presented the Wilde tale of the Statue and the Swallow in a freely adapted version - Walter played among other things a tramp, an animal trainer, a town crier, an unemployed father and a cruise ship sailor. A cruise ship sailor??? Well yes as I said freely adapted: in this version the statue and the swallow become humans when the Blue Fairy from Pinocchio wanders in by mistake. They leave the cold behind to go to Argentina on a cruise ship - don't ask. It was actually a lovely way to spend the afternoon but my heart jumped when they said there were two people in the audience who were celebrating birthdays. Thank god it was a five year old brother and sister (twins) - the little boy was as unimpressed with the Blue Fairy's kiss as I would have been.
12 decembre - Santa Giovanna di Chantal