Fevered Sleep, Once in a Blue Moon Ball

Review in Issue 15-3 | Autumn 2003

We are outside Battersea Arts Centre and it is Midsummer's Eve. In the evening sunshine, a crowd of excited young people is gathering: 6-10 year-olds dressed to the nines in fancy frocks and Hawaiian shirts. The children shake the Impresario's hand and enter the building through a red velvet curtain (we are not allowed to enter – not even to peek through) and the grown-ups are led away, to be tucked up in bed and fed toast and marmalade (and the occasional glass of wine... shhh, don't tell).

We are supposed to be able to see what is happening on video screens, but due to a technical hitch that doesn't happen – and it somehow feels right that the children's Ball is theirs alone. Occasionally they appear on a balcony to wave at us in bed below.

Finding out what has actually happened is a bit like asking a child what they did at school today. As they live in the present, such questions mean little. Memories emerge randomly later... On the train home, Francis remembers the ice and the balloons and the moon. There was a bear that wasn't too scary, and the meringue moon was very tasty. The ice swans were very nice – cold and smooth and wet. The vegetable samosas were good but there was too much fish. There was a play with two men and a chair.

As we left the train and headed off to buy our copy of the latest Harry Potter, the clock struck midnight.

Francis remembered that there had been creatures that were half-horse and half-people... Ah, centaurs, I presume? A truly magical Midsummer evening...

Presenting Artists
Presenting Festival
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jun 2003

This article in the magazine

Issue 15-3
p. 26