First Night Design | ‘Like a Lapwing’ #Art

‘Like a Lapwing’ © Sarah Vernon
‘Like a Lapwing’ © Sarah Vernon

‘For look where Beatrice like a lapwing runs
Close by the ground, to hear our conference.’
Hero talking with Ursula about Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, 
Act III, Scene I

I was completely wrong when I published the Ruddy Duck post to say it was the fourth in my bird collection using images from The Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr; it was the third. ‘Like a Lapwing’ is my fourth!

To read more about lapwings, visit Wikimedia. Can you tell I don’t have the energy to add information about lapwings in my own words? Nor can I summon the wherewithal to find a better source of information!

The quote, by the way, is a favourite from Much Ado. My mother was lucky enough to see Peggy Ashcroft as Beatrice at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1950. “When Dame Peg made her entrance in the scene, she was exactly like a lapwing,” said my mother.

[Sir John] Gielgud revived his own colourful, ingeniously designed 1949 production a year later, casting himself as Benedick to Peggy Ashcroft’s Beatrice. On the first night the pair drank a bottle of champagne before going on – and according to Gielgud “never played so well in our lives”. London would see the show in 1952 and 1955. The Daily Telegraph

‘Like a Lapwing’ will soon be available to buy.

Take care and keep laughing!


13 thoughts on “First Night Design | ‘Like a Lapwing’ #Art

  1. My mother admired Ashcroft, too – I don’t know if she saw the Much Ado, but she said that Ashcroft was one of the few actresses who transformed herself into a believably sexy Cleopatra, which must have been around the same time in ’53.

    Her Countess in All’s Well at the Barbican is one of my most prized theatrical memories, a performance of unsurpassed lucidity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lucidity – that’s exactly the word to describe her performances. Sadly, I never saw her on stage but I was always taken with her film and television work. I remember being intensely moved by her in The Jewel in the Crown in the scene about the apostle spoons. Unforgettable.


    1. Aha, you’ve noticed the difference, Mary. As the lapwing had a preponderance of white feathers, it didn’t work to have the background writing showing through so I ‘rubbed out’ that part of the background to get the the lines of the feathers uppermost. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a cute bird. Lovely. That must have been a performance to remember. I never saw her life but I saw the Jewel of the Crown when I was still in Spain and I do remember her performance.

    Liked by 1 person

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