Monday, 24 June 2013

SECRET MUSIC: LAURA MARLING | EAGLE BALL 1927

The day for the much anticipated Eagle Ball 1927 finally arrived...

After much time being MIA, I finally managed to get hold of my little Wai Kit who was my date for the ball! 


We grabbed a bunch of posh flowers from Browns and had a rather quick dinner at Roka in Canary Wharf - approximately an hour to order and eat, and still managed to down about 3 glasses of champagne! Who doesn't love free-flow champagne...

Already rushed for time, we hailed a taxi to drop us at The Grand Eagle Hotel - at a secret location (spent about 10 minutes searching through my inbox for the exact address!) but spotting some passerby's dressed in a similar manner, we knew that we were heading in the right direction!
A line was already forming at the entrance, as our tickets were checked and our hands stamped. We also had a tiny heart drawn on our left hands as a symbol that we were 'single and looking for love' (aren't we all ay?)



 


As we entered through the gate, the view of The Grand Eagle Hotel came into sight - an old mansion that had been transformed to depict the faded grandeur of an old hotel from the 1920's. At the front lawn, sat an old piano and some men in suits participating in a game of croquet. 



Our personal telephones were taken in at the reception to be kept away until the end of the event - a way of avoiding the distractions of modern technology? The first handheld mobile phone wasn't introduced until 1973 anyway, so taking into account that we were in 1927, we shouldn't really miss it...

We were shown to our 'room for the night' by Maisie (?), one of the chambermaids - a dimly-lit room equipped with a bed with red sheets (?!), a dressing table (where we could write secret love notes), a sitting chair, wooden cabinet (which opened on it's own - creepy!) and a wall for us to pin up pictures of our 'old lover'.


We were naughty and took some sneaky photos in the bedroom...

 






Whilst I was writing a little love note, the door suddenly opened and in came in Laura Marling who sat at the corner and give us a short private performance in our room!
Stepping out onto the corridor, we began our tour of the hotel. For the majority of us who didn't upgrade our tickets for the restaurant meal, there were little finger food and drinks being sold - at rather extortionate prices (of course). Luckily we filled up at Roka beforehand!

Towards the end of the hallway was a small chapel where classical music was being played on the cello and bass, and from there we wrote more little notes pinned up on boards in the neighbouring room. Walking on, a musician was singing and strumming some tunes on his guitar in the Billiards Room.
At the foyer, we decided to have our pictures taken, which was to be collected at the end of the event. Photography was not allowed so at least we can have a photo to keep as a memory. 
At the other far end, a dilapidated cinema screen where we sat on dusty, rickety chairs...
In the Drawing Room, we drew self-portraits to be cut out and pinned to form a large montage on the wall.
Flowers and love notes were scattered all over the place which added to the mystery and made the experience rather exciting and intimately arousing...
Having read some advice given provided by Master Undine and previous 'guests' at the hotel, I had a little chat with Dotty, one of the chambermaids. Dotty was new to the job and she revealed to me that she had a secret admiration for Master Undine. She secretly slipped me a love letter that I promised to deliver to Master Undine himself - the first of my secret messenger duties! On my other 'task', I delivered a letter from another chambermaid to Benjamin, the bellboy - probably the cause of the ruckus that occurred at the stairs later on in the evening! We all love a bit of drama don't we?
Throughout the night, we kept spotting a waif-like girl wandering along the corridors - engaging in dances with the men, and giving evil glares to the ladies... Yes, including sneering behind my shoulder and stepping on my (ink-less) typewriter as I was typing a letter to my secret lover...

In the middle of the evening, the angelic Laura Marling, in her white floor-length dress, appeared with the guitarist to perform a few songs from the upper floor. Mesmerized guests gathered around as her voice echoed through the corridors and flower petals gentle strewn  down from the balcony above.

Whilst walking past the laundry pantry, we spotted the bellboy making out with one of the chambermaids...sheepishly pulling apart as they noticed our curious eyes watching.

When the time came for the finale, an announcement was made, inviting guests to enter the Grand Ballroom for the much awaited performance by Laura.
Starting off with an opening performance of Once I Was An Eagle, accompanied by double bass, cello and second guitar...



'...Every little girl is so naive
Falling in love with the first man that she sees...'


We've all been through that phase...

'...When we were in love
If we were
When we were in love
I was an eagle and you were a dove...'


 Followed by more songs from her albums - one of my favourites being 'Sophia' from her third album 'A Creature I Don't Know'.

At the end of the night I had lost sight of my date for a few moments as people were slowly streaming out as they prepared to close for the night - we did find each other eventually and made our way home...back to the present year 2013.

Overall a wonderful and magical night - looking forward to my next Secret Cinema experience.

The Grand Eagle Hotel - photo from SC page



''That is where they live:
Not here and now, but where all happened once.
This is why they give
An air of baffled absence, trying to be there
Yet being here.''


It was the year 1927...

It's Monday again - my favourite day of the week! 4.5 hours of ballet/jazz, bruises on my knees, blisters on my feet, and got hit in the face whilst dancing - all great fun!

Have a good week everyone x


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