Letter from Crawford
“Good morning, Lyceum. Though I don’t know what’s good about it. And the sun’s shining. Ebenezer Scrooge speaking. Can you hear me? No, of course not, there’s nobody in and you’re ‘dark’, as I believe the expression is. Though I’m probably still paying for your (architectural) costumes and bling through my taxes. Bah! Humbug!! And you can keep those damned apparitions and that manky mongrel Bobby locked down backstage. And quarantine the entire former board of the Bank of Scotland. And Mr Travis’ twirly-whirly moustache, come to that. Super-spreaders, the lot o’ them. More humbug! Bah!!
But wait.....hold.....our revels now are ended (except for meeting one person not in our household in the park, without costume and makeup) and these our actors were all spirits. So it comes to this—that I was no more than a figment of the fevered imagination of Maestro Cownie.
Roger Daltrey sang in ‘Quadrophenia’ : ‘Can you see the real me?’. Dear Lyceum, I can see in my mind’s eye the real you. The real me has just auditioned successfully for my 72nd year, rehearsals begin on May 31 (ok, maybe June 1, that’s a Monday. It’ll be big—5*, Joyce?). You are now 137. Are we still ‘in a relationship’? I ask because as you grow older, unlike me you seem to become more passing fair with every encounter.
Back in the 1970s, I relaxed one evening in the curve of your slightly faded auditorium when, quite suddenly, one of those glass lampshades descended silently from the front of the balcony above. Fortunately no-one died: you were less in demand back then and attendance was thin. But you were clearly headed for the poorhouse and there you might have remained but for the love and foresicht of many (here I stop to think of my friend Kenny Ireland, RIP) who sewed up the tattered hems, sprayed on the glitter and gave you the winning smile that now winks slyly at the unsuspecting Grindlay St passer-by.
During ‘An Edinburgh Christmas Carol’, I (or rather, Scrooge) would wander upstage to join the carollers singing ‘In the deep midwinter’, and my heart would miss a beat (but not a line) in turning to see my friends downstage framed, it seemed on the horizon, in your high proscenium arch, and beyond, dimly perceived, a silent throng of watchers. Your embrace is as wide as a colosseum, yet so intimate that the least voice will travel to the edges of your universe.
I have played the Spiegeltent in Melbourne, the Smithsonian in Washington, several dusty West End theatres, an array of variously questionable Scottish village halls and a former Nazi munitions factory in Hamburg, but my heart will always be yours, dear Lady Lyceum, jewel of our capital city.
‘Nothing is certain, only the certain Spring’.
Hello! I hope whoever opens this is well. I hesitate to send. There are few Letters so far and most from very distinguished contributors, so not sure that I qualify.
Anyway, here it is—-and a pic today of Scrooge at this particular time! But you can always use one of me that you already have, if not suitable
Tags: From Audience