The performance is set in the Great Barn in the grounds of Garsington Manor, so was a truly significant setting for this show. The venue itself is quite unremarkable but also splendid in its simplicity. Rows of chairs face the wooden stage, and the daylight turning to dusk through the skylight windows adds to the dramatic atmosphere during the performance.
Featuring 18 performers, the show is a mixture of short pieces of prose, dancing, singing and music, all seamlessly put together. Drawing heavily on Yeats’ love of Irish mythology, the selection of pieces slotted together in a flowing movement ensuring the show did not drag at all – beautiful instrumental pieces interspersed with famous verse, Irish dancing and poignant songs ensured a lively and meaningful celebration of the life and works of this legendary man.
Stories of Yeats’ visits to Garsington, tales of the beauty of Ireland, his falling out with Lady Ottoline, and his unfulfilled 20-year love affair with Maud Gonne were the main subjects of the performance. The setting of the very place he loved so much made the performance particularly meaningful. I would recommend this show not just to celebrate the work of Yeats but also to pay a visit to such a historical setting as Garsington Manor, in which so many artists sought sanctuary, including D H Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, T S Eliot, and Virginia Woolf. A flawless performance in a local legendary setting.