Monday, 29 April 2013

"Overture and Beginners"

This is how most Show Gardens look when work starts
(all the images in this post were taken on Mon 22nd April)
My theatrical analogy used throughout many of these posts is apposite, and will perhaps be apparent to anyone who has been involved in stage or concert hall. In the gardening fraternity, too, here at Malvern, even though the performance is on such a large scale and, basically, an outdoor event. You have the Hills as a backdrop and the Showground as the stage, with so much action taking place simultaneously that you, the Theatregoer / Show Visitor, will be hard-pressed to organise your day. What you do will depend to a large extent not so much on what is put before you, but on what you most want see; and on the Programme in your show guide.

Another 'beginning' - a bare plot of ground from which a 
spacious garden is being created
Outside there are the immaculate Show Gardens and ingenious School Gardens, each and every one telling their own story. And under cover two Theatres: the Allotment Theatre in the Gardeners’ Shopping Pavilion, and the Plants & People Theatre in a large and spacious marquee. The scene will have been set; you will wait in eager anticipation for the show to begin – will there be music? Visuals? There is no script and you, the visitor, are not just audience, but vital participants.

A garden takes shape - buildings and 'props' are moved into place
Special effects are called for by many a playwright or composer - Shakespeare's Prospero initiates a tempest, in The Tempest: (ACT I SCENE I: a tempestuous noise of thunder and lightning heard)! Or the atmospheric music depicting a storm in the last of four Sea Interludes composed by Benjamin Britten in his opera, Peter Grimes. At Malvern, whatever weather the Showground is blessed with will be entirely natural, not conjured out of the imagination. Everyone concerned in any way, exhibitor or visitor alike, hopes and prays for sunshine and perfect temperatures.

Think sunshine and hot weather - these olive trees create a
restful atmosphere
There: after all these posts, I have at last alluded to it: WEATHER. I am not being pessimistic; but this is England, in Spring. Forecasts need not deter you (did you know you can obtain a Met Office  forecast specifically for the showground?) Gardeners are used to weather! Come prepared - sensible shoes anyway (ladies) for there is a lot of walking, a lightweight raincoat and maybe a brolly. None of these precautions may be needed and there are plenty of under-cover activities should the heavens open. I am of the opinion that it is better to be prepared than disappointed. I have visited the Spring Gardening Show on all four days for the last seven years and nothing would stop me from continuing to do so; the weather is a part of it, but in the immortal words of Morecombe and Wise, "Bring me sunshine."

All hands as the Show approaches: the Showground is kept in immaculate condition
'Overture and Beginners': the call to actors or musicians to make their way to the stage or orchestra pit. Some will be waiting in the wings, some will be backstage staff, some ‘front of house’; and innumerable others going unnoticed, yet without whom the Show could not go on. It is a huge logistical event when everyone and everything dovetails to bring delight, fun and happiness, to make you smile as you joyfully fill your trolley with plants, plants, plants, gardening sundries, art, elegant clothes, local food, anything and everything connected with a splendid day out in the Malvern countryside. And perhaps, first and foremost for you, listening to expert advice in the two theatres, chatting to experts - don't forget the helpful and knowledgeable RHS staff in the RHS / TCAS members' pavilion.

Gardens ARE finished on time -
though this is one of the permanent
gardens through which I love
to wander.
I, too, am waiting in the wings and one more pre-Show visit before writing the final pre-Show post – and then 'Curtain Up' on 9th May: the most magnificent occasion, long anticipated, months in preparation and production. Keep up-to-date by visiting the Show Website. I look forward to saying hello again in my final pre-Show post next week, and then I will be blogging live throughout all four days at the Show.

I'm contemplating the
theatrical feel I want
to convey, and how to pull
it all together
Helpful Informtion: Opening times - 9am - 6pm; FREE Car parking.Children go FREE (0-15yrs) – it is recommended that children aged 12 and under are accompanied by a responsible adult. FREE Shuttle bus from Great Malvern Station to the Show on Friday, Saturday and Sunday runs continuously from 9am - 6pm. Bus stop just outside station entrance. Show bus stop is by Red Gate. SatNav Postcode: WR13 6NW.

WHY NOT ALSO TAKE A LOOK AT THESE PAGES, TOO?  (Just click on the links):
Love our Shows, Like our Facebook Page -
Malvern Autumn Show

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