The Lord Chamberlain's Men's Birthday Party!

Just a short one today - I wanted to share a few photos from a special 10th birthday party I attended on Monday.

Not a child's 10th birthday...but for a group of fully grown men!

Shakespeare wrote for The Lord Chamberlain's Men, a group of players founded in 1594, for most of his life. 410 years later, producer Mark Puddle founded an eponymous troupe based on the same principles as the original Men - open-air performances, all-male casts and full Elizabethan costume. Ten years has seen them progress in leaps and bounds, playing at over 80 venues in the UK and internationally over the summer months. I was introduced to them by Alex, who directed the music for this summer's touring performance of Romeo and Juliet.

The company's birthday party was held at the Oriental Club just off Oxford Street, which is a rather astonishing relic from the days of Britain's empire. Some of the antique books on display in the library are quite amazing, with titles like Ten Weeks With Chinese Bandits. Definitely one for the TBR pile.

The champagne flowed freely...and since it was a party, there was cake!

When I live in a stately home I'll make sure to have a gilded library built specially to house my colonial books too.

I was excited to see a performance of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet later that evening in the Club's courtyard, on an incredibly versatile small set. The players really are multi-talented, playing multiple roles, singing and even cross-dressing with aplomb. They delivered some of the best-known lines in theatre ('But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?') as the sun set on the West End, and made me resolve to go and see more plays as soon as possible.

Happy birthday, TLCM! Here's to another ten - or 410 - years of happy playing to come!

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