Quotations from P G Wodehouse are copyright of, and reprinted by permission of, the Trustees of the Wodehouse Estate © 2019 The P G Wodehouse Society (UK)
Each of our Society meetings is enjoyable in its own way, having some unique element that sets it apart from the others, but there is also a reassuring sameness to our gatherings. For myself, there is always an element of pleasant surprise as I arrive early to a nearly empty room, start chattering away with somebody, and then suddenly look up to find myself surrounded by a sea of Wodehouseans – and laughter. There is always lots of laughter.
The meeting on February 28 2012 at The George certainly was no different that way, but there was one jarring aspect to the evening: our Chairman was not among those present. Down for the count with some sort of nasty bug, Hilary Bruce missed her first-
But the usual procedure prevailed all the same, and after the initial socialising and sluicing, Tony Ring stood in for the Chairman and called the meeting to order for Parish Notices – of which there were, apparently, a record number. These included news of the Wodehouse Weekend in Norfolk, for which a few (very few) places are still available. This special excursion takes place the weekend of May 25-
Other news shared with the masses included how to order Maria Jette’s new CD of Wodehouse songs (information about which will be put on the website soon, we promise); the availability of three silent films of PGW golf stories on videotape (VHS) – apply to Tony if interested (firstname.lastname@example.org); the dates of the two main Gold Bats matches in June (see Future Events) – and if you plan on attending the Dulwich match and taking part in the tea, you will need tickets (to be included in the March issue of Wooster Sauce); and word of our biennial dinner at Gray’s Inn, this year to be held on the 25th October (application forms in the June issue of Wooster Sauce).
And that wasn’t all. Tony told us of a wealth of recent and future TV and radio programmes featuring Wodehouse in some way or another. In terms of what lies ahead, on 29 April and 6 May, there will be a two-
Tony then handed the reins over to Entertainment Impresario Paul Kent, who began by mentioning something his predecessor at the microphone had modestly failed to speak of – to wit, Tony is in the final stages of preparing a book on Wodehouse’s straight theatre. It will be published later this year, so do stay tuned for further details, as this book will contain a lot of new and fascinating information for PGW aficionados regarding Our Hero’s theatre work. I should mention that Tony has spent more than ten years researching and pulling together this important new addition to Wodehouse scholarship. It promises to be a corker of a book. (If interested in getting a copy, apply to Tony at email@example.com.)
Finally, it was time for the Entertainment, courtesy of John Voce and Peter Wear of the British Comedy Company, who performed an adaptation of the foreword to PGW’s Over Seventy. Peter took on the role of the narrator (that is, Wodehouse), while Jon played – the footnotes. Yes, that’s right, he voiced the footnotes, in a hilarious dialogue with Wodehouse that is very hard to describe – you had to be there. Think of a literary cross-
Following their brilliant performance, John and Peter were presented with well-
The official part of the festivities concluded, many of us continued to linger on for some time afterwards, enjoying drinks and conversation with like-
Next meeting: July 10 at The George, 213 Strand, from 6 pm.
A Wodehouse impostor and his footnotes:
Peter Wear (right) and John Voce
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