After the Winter Watch Parades comes the celebration of the Roman Festival of the Saturnalia in honour of their god Saturn; this originally took place on 17th December. Nowadays it is fitting that a city sited on a Legionary fortress should again ring to the tramp of Roman boots. In fact, their torches light up the streets, and they are joined by a host of Celts and local Iron Age tribes folk. As before, I tried to catch the ‘getting ready’, and behind the scenes rather than the procession itself.
The armour the legionaries wear is quite intricate and layered, and often needs a helping hand to fasten it in place…..from segmented shoulder protectors, and breast plates…… to the intricate helmet with cheek-pieces and neck guard.
The year I did these drawings the column of troops reached Eastgate Street and the Emperor himself addressed the watching crowds; the Rows packed with people as if at the Amphitheatre.
Once the procession was back at the Grosvenor Museum, various scenes were played out and then the participants relaxed. Two Celts asked me for a quick drawing, so here are Bryon, wise warrior in plaid…
and a thoughtful member of the Deceangli Tribe of North East Wales.
That same Christmas I was allowed in to sketch at a rehearsal of the pantomime ‘Aladdin’ by Tip Top Productions at the Studio Theatre……
It wasn’t always easy to draw the stage activities as the seating area was mostly in darkness, but it was an really enjoyable session. Let’s begin with a lively dance and then move on to some of the Panto’s characters.
Firstly the villain of the story, the wicked uncle….
……. the beautiful Princess Jasmine…..
.……the exuberant Widow Twankey and her laundry…..
…… the magic of the Slave of the Ring…….
the villain appears in disguise as a seller of pots……
and all ends happily in a whirl of dancing.
Thanks to Peter, the Director for letting me and my pad in………
That’s all Folks….. here’s a sketch done just off the Duke’s Drive……..