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Himalaya

Day 34: Shimla

Michael Palin - HimalayaShe seems a little harassed. Last night's performance had been spoiled by mass amnesia on the part of the actors.

Had they not had time to learn their lines, I asked her.

Oh yes, they had time, but they are all in the army and very busy.

So I stumbled on the truth. This pretty little theatre survives as a sort of social club for the military. The activities of the Green Room bar and lounge upstairs subsidize the thespian activities below, the quid pro quo being that the army are offered the best parts, and the best seats.

As curtain up approaches, men trained to lead hundreds into battle are pacing about backstage, like schoolboys about to go before the headmaster, repeating the same lines over and over again. It's a full house tonight with the local commander in chief attending. This only seems to ratchet up the tension.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 34: Shimla
  • Country/sea: India
  • Place: Shimla
  • Book page no: 76

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