The Dame Harriet Walter Society has been observing Dame Harriet Walter Weekends for almost six years now, since before Harriet Walter was even a dame, but for this one:
- We dragged our carcases out to St. Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn for the all-female women-in-prison Donmar production of Henry IV starring—you guessed it—Dame Harriet Walter;
- Arrived 30 minutes late for the matinee thanks to a scheduling snafu and the goddamn motherfucking MTA, which led to
- Being seated in stealth fashion in a completely different section than the one we were originally ticketed for, which meant that
- We were sitting "literally" (literally) at Dame Harriet Walter's feet when she emerged from the backstage scaffolding to give her big "Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown" speech.
- It was very exciting!
- We had to crane our necks up and back in order to see her, although I couldn't hear a word she was saying because I was too aware that this was Dame Harriet Walter spouting Shakespeare while standing close enough for you (me) to grab the hem of her dingy sad old man's bathrobe, and during the course of this speech she spit not once but multiple times on SarahB, which in the end is exactly the sort of visceral, once-in-a-lifetime event that live theatre is all about if you're a particular kind of fan (spoiler: we are particular kinds of fans. I hope this is not news to you.).
- p.s. at one point Dame Harriet Walter played the flute. In high school I played the flute. This means nothing in the context of anything but it was also very exciting.
- Post-game we repaired to the wilds of DUMBO (ugh) for happy hour and candlelight pasta at AlMar (topnotch! delicioso! mangia mangia),
- Followed by ice cream, Cheetos, and a late-night viewing of—obviously—Have His Carcase; i.e., the one with all the tweed, short pants, quarrels, and Haviland Martin the murthering pony.
- This morning we woke up early to watch Gaudy Night and plot our next DHWW-related adventures, both international and domestic.
To paraphrase Ann Patchett in Bel Canto, certainly I know that Dame Harriet Walter isn't for everyone, but for everyone I hope there is something.