Last weekend, Tom and I found ourselves trotting through the crooked back-streets of Smithfield, heading towards the night circus.
Smithfield is steeped in history, so is a highly charged setting for any performance. It’s mostly known for its centuries-old market these days, but it used to be a popular site for executions, including that of William Wallace in 1305. It was also largely untouched by the 1666 fire of London, so has retained a sense of its past more than most areas of London. Ghosts brush past you as you wander through it, and you find yourself listening out for their footsteps.
Tom and I had tickets for ‘How Like an Angel‘, a collaboration between the UK based vocal ensemble, I Fagiolini, and the contemporary Australian circus troop Circa. They have been performing at cathedrals around the UK culminating in this, their final run, at The Priory Church of St Bartholomew the Great. The church was founded in 1123 as an Augustinian priory, and though what remains is merely the chancel of a much larger monastic church, it still possesses the most significant Norman interior in London (and was used in Shakespeare in Love as the church where Shakespeare begs for forgiveness, incidentally).
Awesome, what an experience that must have been!
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