I was no lover of Shakespeare and always found it a bit of a challenge, but then, I relished a challenge, trying to understand the real meaning behind lines that may have flowed easily in mediaeval times, but sounded archaic and often convoluted to my ear. So, I made my way down to the beach where the townspeople and holidaymakers always gather in anticipation.
East Beach was chosen by the Players because it was sheltered by marram grass flecked sand dunes that provided a natural auditorium, while strong currents in the sea behind kept distracting swimmers away towards West Beach. The evening was perfect; dark storm clouds gathered on the distant horizon, reaching upwards in a threatening canopy as the evening’s slanting sunlight flashed oranges and reds of gore across rugged rocks, creating a brooding ambience well suited to the performance, while rain was not forecast before the performance ended.
Standing on the sands I looked around, feeling the buzz of anticipation whenever a drama is to be played out before absorbing ears and eyes. I felt a light tap on my shoulder. It was a young policeman, asking if I was OK. He said he’d noticed me pacing the sands a long while and thought I looked a little pale. I told him I was just there for the play: the one on the poster.
‘Sorry, sir, that was last year,’ he said, slowly shaking his head. ‘Terrible tragedy, it was, too. Though I don’t mean the Macbeth, sir; one of the best performances ever, I’m told, but halfway through the last act a freak wave broke across the shore, sending cast and audience scattering, before it swept the lead role into the sea.’ I thanked him for telling me and assured him that I was fine. Then as he turned and walked away, I strode down the beach, back into the sea that had claimed me.