Letter from Elsie

Letter from Elsie

Dear Lyceum 

As you are probably aware your London theatre counterparts were closed during another plague in the 17th century, and the children's rhyme Ring-a-ring a Roses is said to have arisen from that. The word 'roses' referring to the red blotches on the skin. 

Admittedly we are not using the term 'plague' just now, but 'coronavirus pandemic'. Semantics eh!  I'm sure you can envisage a play encompassing then and now, with the pure voices of children a counterpoint to fear and horror. 

We are all in 'lockdown' - a great time for reflection: 

Ring-a-ring a Roses (2020) 

Ring-a-ring a roses  

A pocket full of posies 

Atishoo,  atishoo  

We all fall down. 

Plagues and pandemics, 

flood, famine, fires. 

Ring-ring a roses. 

They all roll round. 

Round and round this 

rugged rock, round our 

lonely planet. And 

still the Earth turns; 

the ozone breathes. 

Atishoo,  atishoo.  

We are mosaic, each 

small, separate,  only 

techno connect. 

On-line we walk 

the wire. Shopping 

the new faith. Amen. 

We all fall down. 


War on the unseen, 

battles without arms. 

Weapons of care 

wielded by medics. 

Ring-a-ring a roses 

A pocket full of posies 

We all fall down. 


We are mosaic, now 

at a distance. 

Care and kindness 

surge, not gone. 

Techno connect to give. 

Ring-a-ring a roses  

A pocket full of posies. 


Time to reflect on 

our lonely planet, 

our disconnect.  

Rainbows, symbols 

of hope  -  a reason  

to smile  -  not fear. 

Ring-a-ring a roses. 

You'll be back soon I hope dear theatre. 



Elsie Horobin 

Tags: From Audience