April 23, 2012
The 23rd of April is a traditionally a day on which we in England argue whether it's ok to celebrate St Georges Day lest we offend the many dragons who may or may not be offended by celebrating the patron saint of Dragon Stabbing. Not only is St George's day celebrated in England, but the good people of Bulgaria, Canada, Catalonia, Croatia, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Georgia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republic of Macedonia can't seem to get enough of the "Dragon Ventilating Boy Wonder form Syria Palaestina"
Whether or not you agree with the spirit of St George's Day, it can't be argued that English Entertainment is a great subject for a blog post and I don't know about you, but I always need a good Top 5 to kick off the week. So without further ado, here are our Top 5 Quintessentially English Acts for St Georges Day...
Winston Churchill Look-Alike
A cursory glance at IMDb reveals that Winston Churchill has been portrayed in films a staggering 137 times with everyone from Albert Finney to Timothy Spall taking a whack at playing the man whom a 2002 BBC poll named "The Greatest Briton of All Time." (A poll conspicuously lacking in the Roger Moore Department if you ask me) It's clear that the public's fascination with Churchill has endured long after he passed away in 1965, hence his popularity as a look-alike for corporate events. When you're celebrating the best that England has to offer, there's no one you'd rather have pottering around in a clould of cigar smoke.
When it comes to Traditional English Entertainment, nothing captures the Bulldog spirit and the stiff upper lip-edness of the English peoples quite like a troupe of men with bells on their ankles waving hankies and clashing sticks. In all seriousness though - Morris Dancing has endured for centuries, survived attacks from more popular forms of dance and still manages to draw a crowd at any event. Maybe it's the bells. Our Morris Dancers recently welcomed in British Summer time on the banks of the Thames, take a look.
The Black Knight
Traditional depictions of St George show him dressed in armour, riding a white horse and thrusting a spear into a poor, hapless dragon. In time, George came to be seen as a figure of chivalry and was often depicted in medieval romances and literature. All this is a roundabout way of saying "Knights! Knights! Suits of Armour and Swords and Things! Knights!" Though other nations have their own tails of chivalry, no one ever puts on a Spanish accent when they slip into chainmail (unless there's a windmill about). Our Black Knight makes for a brilliant focal point at medieval themed corporate events and is also a reassuring presence if you choose to have him wandering the car park as security.
The English Gents
The clue's in the title on this one - we've raved about the stars of La Soiree on a number of occasions but it bears repeating... The English Gents are kind of amazing. In their dazzling stage show, they meld acrobalance, striptease and a certain Python-esque brand of distinctly British physical comedy that by some miracle comes together as a coherent whole. By the end of their performance, it's hard to know whether to salute, wolf whistle or just collapse with laughter, but if we were to offer an expert opinion - we'd suggest trying all three.
Mini Last Night of the Proms
There are few more 'English' events in the nation's calendar than the last night of the proms, climaxing as it does with a frenzy of flag waving, cannon blasting patriotism. Wimbledon? Any feelings of national pride are usually extinguished by the Quarter Finals. The Queen's Birthday? Maybe if she'd pick just one. No, nothing comes close to the spectacle of the Prom's performance of 'Land of Hope and Glory'... nothing except our Mini Last Night of the Proms which gathers together a choir, marching band and a suitably attired conductor to bring it all together. Take a look at pictures from our event at the Royal Automobile Club for more.
For more info on any of these Quintessentially English Acts, get in touch.