Contrary to certain rumours, no UFO has landed in our backyard (scaring the poor kois witless), and no horrid slimy, green aliens have dragged me away screaming and kicking (scaring the poor kois witless all over again). No, the kois were busy sunning themselves and making koi babies.
And moi? I’ve been busy with my uni job. Things are a bit tense at the moment thanks to the whole university reform that’s going on in Germany. This winter we’ll switch from our old system to the BA / MA system, and let me tell you, as always when politicians come up with brilliant ideas, it’s a real headache for the people actually involved in the whole mess. Duh.
On to more cheerful matters: a recent search on abebooks rendered some great finds for my PhD project: I’ve bought yet another edition of THE SEVEN CHAMPIONS OF CHRISTENDOM as well as another edition of WHERE THE RAINBOW ENDS. The latter was a children’s play written by Clifford Mills and John Ramsay, with music by Roger Quilter. It was first performed in the Christmas season 1911 and became an instant it. Indeed, it even rivalled PETER PAN in popularity. Both plays were regularly shown at Christmas, and generations of English children grew up with the story of Rosamund and Crispian Carey and their friends Jim and Betty Blunders, who travel to the land where the rainbow ends and defy the horrible Dragon King.
Ever since the plane with Rosamund and Crispian’s parents was lost, the two children have lived with their horrid aunt and uncle. But one day, Rosamund discovers a mysterious book, called “Where the Rainbow Ends”, in the library and reads:
Now whosoever shall read this book whose faith is strong and heart pure, will find ere they close its pages the way to the land where the rainbow ends. There blooms the flower of happiness which grows in no other clime, and here all lost loved ones found. […] Now all who would reach this fair land must first pass through the dread country of the Dragon, which bars the way – and herein many perils and dangers are encountered. Happy are they who early find Faith’s Magic Carpet to bear then [sic] safely on their way […]
With the help of a magic carpet and the genie that’s hidden in the carpet the Carey children enlist St. George as their champion before they fly away. In order to reach the land where the rainbow ends, they have to cross Dragon Wood, resist the lure of the boy Slacker, and fight their evil aunt and uncle. They are eventually taken prisoner by the Dragon King and his minions. But thanks to Rosamund’s quick thinking, they’re able to put together a somewhat crude flag of St. George which they fly over the ramparts of the Dragon King’s castle. With a bang and a clash and a blinding light, St George appears, fights against the Dragon King and finishes the villain off. While the stage is flooded with light, St. George shows the children the way to the land where the rainbow ends, where they are reunited with their parents.
Much to my delight I’ve recently not only found a CD with the music of WHERE THE RAINBOW ENDS but also the issue of the old theater magazine PLAY PICTORIAL in which the play is discussed. Whee! And YouTube, too, turns out to be a real treasure trove: here’s an interview with Valerie Langfield, the author of Quilter’s biography. If I’m not mistaken, the intro music is from WHERE THE RAINBOW ENDS: