The importance of German sausage

Germany has introduced a scheme for getting people to get jabbed. For everyone who goes for a vaccination, they are giving away a Bratwurst sausage in a roll. The uptake has been astounding. And why not? If I was in Germany, I’d be in the queue. A brilliant idea.

Another brilliant idea was one that Mirinda had quite a while ago.

She discovered that there was going to be an outside performance of Earnest at Chawton House Library today. She decided that we should aim to be home in order to attend. Then plans changed, for various reasons and the Earnest deadline was forgotten about.

Fast forward to Monday and we realised that, as long as we managed to pass the Covid test for a Day 5 Release, we could celebrate by going to see Earnest.

So, first thing this morning, I bought tickets.

The production is from a new group called Slapstick Picnic. They are a sister company to Handlebards. According to one of the actors, they felt restrained by Handlebards given they only do Shakespeare, so someone had the bright idea of outside versions of comedy with very small casts. The Importance of Being Earnest is their first production.

Back in 2018, we attended a two handed Earnest in Odiham. It was extraordinarily funny. The Slapstick version is also a two hander. Lucy Green and William Ross-Fawcett play all the roles. They are ably assisted by Charlotte Driessler, a remarkably enthusiastic stage manager. It is also extraordinarily funny. They are touring until September at lots of venues. They are well worth seeing.

We’ve seen both the women before in Handlebards productions so we know how good they are. The chap has also toured with Handlebards but we’ve not seen any of the all male productions, so he was new to us. And none of them disappointed. Earnest was great, a real slapstick tour de force.

I’ve seen many versions of Earnest over the years, as well as playing Jack more times than I can count, but this has to be the first slapstick version I’ve seen. (Though, to be fair, the opera version was pretty slapstick-y.) It was such fun. The performers were full of energy and the action was delightfully silly and riotous.

Of course, alongside the slapstick, a picnic is essential. We ordered the ploughman’s (delicious) but next time will bring a proper one of our own. Including wine.

The black clouds threatened a bit but, apart from a sudden downpour at about 4pm, there wasn’t any rain to speak of during the performance. In fact, there were quite a few moments during the play that the sun shone like a million watt spotlight on the performers. And, of course, the South Lawn at Chawton looked fantastic.

We took the girls and were the only ones to do so. A few people expressed delight while regretting not bringing their own. Our two managed to garner quite a few affectionate pats.

Just in front of us was a woman who has recently adopted a Romanian orphan dog to go with her rescue Jack Russell. Like every good dog owner, she had photos on her phone which she showed us with delight.

Earlier in the day, our two had been spoiled with a sausage each from the Holly Bush where we had brunch. It’s one of the places we’ve missed. We’ve also missed the delightfully changeable amount of sausages that they give you when you ask for a side order. The dogs were quite happy with today’s offering, given a side order was two sausages.

Emma hates sharing when it’s just the one.

Then, of course, Mirinda took them on her Frensham country walk while I sat and read, waiting for the cricket to begin.

I managed to watch about half an hour of Frensham 1st XI v Headley 1st XI.

I’ve missed the cricket. I’ve also missed live theatre. It was an excellent day all round. Well, except for the lack of Bratwurst. I miss Bratwurst.

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