Day 305 Mile 305: ‘Ever flourish the Enchanted Isle’. A couple of days ago, purely on a whim, I downloaded a an audio performance of The Tempest, which is believed to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote, and arguably the pinnacle of his craft.
It turns out that its first recorded performance was on ‘Hallowmas nyght’ 1 November 1611 (i.e. 406 years ago today) by the King’s Men before James I and the royal court at Whitehall Palace. OK, now while I accept that I will not make it to run around Whitehall today I can go one better!
For those who dont know the play it is set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using magic. He conjures up the eponymous tempest, to cause his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to believe they are shipwrecked and marooned on the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio’s lowly nature, the redemption of the King, Prospero’s renunciation of magic and the marriage of Miranda and Ferdinand (Alonso’s son). There are also bits with witches, a neanderthal-like creature, the occasional song and a flying nymph, what is there not to like!
The Isle on Anglesey is renowned for several things; these include having winds that mean all the trees lean one way, a key indicator of tempests if ever there was one, a HUGE number of recorded shipwrecks in the waters just off the coast, and an ancient history of usurped princes and princesses. In addition to this it was the last sacred stronghold of the Druids until the Roman invasion which has obvious links to the arcane figure of Prospero. All in all I think I may have found the ideal set for the play!
So I went for a run, starting by the ducks and boats of the tiny, causwayed island of Ynys Faelog. The road then turned south along the coast, down the Menai Straits follwing the line of the high tide past boats and slipways, rocks and kelp as far as the base of the hugely imposing Menai Bridge which links the Isle of Anglesey to mainland Wales. Sadly the tide was too high for spotting any of the shipwrecks which still litter this stretch of water, but the blend of Shakespeare’s story and it’s fit to the place with all of its magic and wonder is really quite intoxicating.
That’s enough geeking out for me, I guess that tomorrow’s run should be something a bit more serious and like running 🙂
I’m running a mile each day everyday for 2017. If you feel you can sponsor me please do, as all the money raised will go to the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) who provide services all across the UK to support people affected by it.
Distance: 1682.2 meters recorded
(1 mile = 1609.34 m.)
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Thanks as ever for all the support!
Very appropriate earworm for today. Granted it’s not exactly standard ‘running’ music, but taps that similar vein of C17th literary imagination 🙂