Monday, April 21, 2014
They are celebrating his birthday I saw in this morning’s TV news. I actually turned on the TV at 8 a.m. – which is unusual but it is so quiet here. So I did a google search for the Swan Hill Shakespearean Festival and also Marjorie McLeod. My hometown is Swan Hill. Okay - it's not about Geelong! Here’s a newspaper item about Marjorie.
Marjorie McLeod was born in Dimboola in 1893, founded the Swan Hill National Theatre directing and producing with the company for many years. Before that she taught speech and was an actor and writer for ABC radio. Marjorie McLeod was the energy behind the annual Shakespearean Festival in Swan Hill.
I was one of her elocution students as my parents tried to knock out the colloquial idioms and country accents. I can do both ‘voices’ today – ordinary and posh! She involved children in the Shakespeare plays during the five-day festival held each year in the Town Hall, the street procession and at Riverside Park doing folk dancing, maypoling etc. I was in Romeo and Juliet (in the crowd) one year. At High School we ‘did’ Shakespeare but I hated reading the part of Lady Macbeth. We did not appreciate Shakespeare’s way with words those days. Today I realize what fine writing it is and what insights into human nature he had and how so many of his words and phrases are used in our English language today.