Saturday 12 May 2012: Miriam Margolyes & the Earthquake
The special Mothers' Day treat that my daughter and son had planned for me was taking me to the matinee of Miriam Margolyes in her one woman show of Dickens' Women, in Christchurch. What a treat indeed! Margolyes is marvellous. Her characterisation of Dickens characters, men as well as women was totally wonderful.
During the performance there was an earthquake. Suddenly the building braced, setting off a cacophony of creaks and squeaks. The whole auditorium vigourously jiggled up and down for several seconds. There was a general gasp from the audience and some people half rose out of their seats. Margolyes was under the spotlight, centre stage with arms outstretched. She paused, but did not move. When the jiggling stopped she said something that made the people in the front rows laugh, then carried on with the performance. I don't know what it was she said, but I heard somebody say that she said it in the character of the moment.
Most of the people in the audience are used to earthquakes by now, but it may have been a new experience to Margolyes. We loved her before the earthquake, but her popularity went up many notches after it.
One year ago: Conjunction of planets.