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<<  -- 3 --  Monica McCabe    JOINING THREADS

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The question came up of another ballet to follow this first joint creation, and it was then that to my surprise Arthur came back into the frame. It was the time of looking forward to the Millennium, and Arthur seemed to be a very suitable topic for a major project -- indeed, apparently David had been toying with the idea himself for some time, though on very different lines from those originally put forward by me. His first thought, I believe, was for a very updated version -- Arthur in business suits -- but for whatever reason this idea (which I personally thought very promising) fell by the wayside.

The first undertaking for both of them was to do a lot of reading and I imagine sales of Arthurian literature soared at that time, for both must have read 30 to 40 books, passing on the details of the various publications as they came across them, especially those they regarded, for whatever reason, as particularly worthwhile. Their reading covered every sort of literature: from classic writings, including Mallory, to careful explanations of mythological texts and terms, and from academic archeological tomes on the decline of the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages and the advance of the Saxon conquest through Celtic Britain, to paperback pulp novels, many of which were highly imaginative, and cast their own shadows on the finished scenario. Amongst these one sensitive and well-written -- and probably now out-of-print -- account provided an image of Arthur's half-sister, Morgan le Fay, as a young girl, which influenced both John and David very strongly and made them both determined to give her a major role in the coming production. (As an aside, my personal favourite amongst this paperback literature is Mary Stewart's brilliantly imaginative trilogy.)

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Copyright © 17 April 2001 Monica McCabe, Kent, UK

 

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