City without an audience

Images of Bath’s deserted streets prompts Bath Newseum regular, Terry Basson, to write:

“Scenes, on Facebook, of now deserted streets, beaches and normal people-places, are regularly now shown, since a visiting virus showed up.

Bath is a good example, of fine buildings left by those now gone to a neverland. They stand in the sun, quietly in their Georgian elegance, and wonder why there is no one around anymore.

This quietness is spellbinding enough for me to recall a moment – some years back – when I was invited to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, by a member of my extended family who is a fine Shakespearean actress.

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I stood for her performance as a ‘groundling’. The final curtain ended and people started to leave. Out came my family member with an invitation to join the cast backstage.

Grabbing at this opportunity, I joined these theatrical types who hug and welcome visitors, with a fine bowl of red.

Sipping and talking, my actress said, ‘Terry would you like to come and stand on Shakespear’s stage?’ I melted with excitement as I stepped out upon the boards where red and white roses were strewn around – thrown by the now absence audience. ‘Terry, would you like to take some of these flowers home with you for the family’?

I bent to lift a stem, looking up at the empty seats where the physical energy had now disappeared.

I spoke in quiet, soft tearful tones, ‘Oh Racheal, how important is an audience to this theatre and the cast.

 Hear my soul speak: / The very instant that I saw you, did / My heart fly to your service”


Thanks for that Terry. Let’s hope our tourist business can get back on its feet quickly – once this terrible pandemic is over. We will surely need every penny!



  1. Let’s hope our tourist business can get back on its feet quickly] Yes, but what kind of tourism will it be? Yet more day-trippers?

  2. I very much hope the millions of day trippers are strongly discouraged from coming, being replaced with slightly longer stay ones who will use our B&Bs, hotels, restaurants etc and walk around the city.

  3. My fear is that they will be encouraged, and that as a consequence there’ll be yet more fast-food outlets, more litter, more anti-social behaviour in the town centre, and more wretched seagulls.

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