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Thursday, 26 September 2019

A Favourite Scene In Village Day

    No.6 goes to the café for a coffee, a waitress approaches his table.
    “Yes sir.”
    “Coffee….and some information.”
    “Information sir?”
    He shows the waitress a photograph of a man, whose face is familiar. The waitress makes to go and get his coffee, but he grabs her arm and holds her back. No.6 asks about Village day, it’s a way of celebrating the village, a tradition. No.6 thinks it should be abolished.
    “The tradition?”
    “No, the village! 
    No.2 approaches the café, and goes inside.
    “May I?” indicating a vacant seat at No.6’s table.
    “Help yourself.”
    No.2 settles himself down “How are you enjoying your home from home, any problems?”
    “Yes…you, and the village as a whole really!”
    “Good, I knew you would fit right in. Luckily you’ve arrived just in time for the village fete and celebrations.”
    “Another charade, I’m fed up with it already.”
    No.2 shakes his head “Oh no my dear chap, it’s all very real in celebration of our village.”
    “How quaint.”
    “Everyone is allowed twenty-four hours to do exactly what they like.”
    “As long as it’s what you like.”
    “Recreational events and refreshments are laid on everyone has a wonderful time. You should try it, it might help relieve some of that stress you put yourself under.”
    “What happened to Number 6?”
    No.2 shakes his head again “Number 6, you are our Number 6.”
    “Your previous Number 6.”
    No.2 removes his steel rimmed spectacles.
    “What happened to him?”
    “Remember questions are a burden to others, and a still tongue makes a happy life. But I will tell you this, there is only one Number 6 and you are that chap.”
    “He’s here somewhere, I know it.”
    The waitress appears with No.6’s coffee.
    “I’ll find him, and you won’t stop me” and pays for the coffee with his credit card.
    “Don’t take life here too seriously Number 6. Relax and try and enter the spirit of the thing. We’ve got lots of special events lined up, we’ve even got Bongo Bolero and his jumping jugglers not forgetting Popsy the clown.”
    “We choose a different one of our flock to portray this lively character.”
    No.6 sniggers at the idea “You must be Popsy!”
    “Splendid Number 6, still got your sense of humour, I like that. Anything particular you’d like to see planned?”
    “A firework display, the village lit up in flames!”
    No.2 runs his fingers through his hair “You’ll be the death of me. By the way I hear you’ve not been sleeping too well recently.”
    “Idle gossip. Then you should know.”
    No.2 smiles “The same nightmare night after night, it must be very disquieting for you.”
    “One of your little games Number 2, it won’t work.”
    No.2 smiles “You flatter yourself Number 6, your nightmares are of your own making, you are quick to blame others for your own failings.”
    “You’ll never win.”
    “Then how very uncomfortable for you old chap. Do you really think we would go to such extraordinary lengths?”
    “Yes if desperate enough.”
    “Now don’t forget about the ceremony tomorrow afternoon” No.2 said still running his fingers through his hair “You will be there won’t you?”
    “Can I avoid it?”
    “Oh you’ll enjoy it, I know you’ll get a lot out of it.”
    “Do you think so?”
    No.2 gets up from the table “Be seeing you” he salutes.
    No.6 returns his salute “Be seeing you.” and sits there drinking his coffee and shaking his head!

   Filmed in Cadwalader’s Ice Cream Parlour in Portmeirion as it was then, there is a similarity between this scene and the scenes with Eric Portman as No.2 in ‘Free For All,’ the fact that we had to film {Max Hora, as No.2} his lines one at a time, with several references to the script on the part of Max. Not through illness as with Eric Portman, but simply on the grounds that Max hadn’t learned his lines! That was the frustration I felt with this scene, and it shows at then end of the scene.
   I recall when setting the scene a number of day visitors to Portmemrion asked if they could appear in the film as extras. I said of course and arranged for them to be dressed in village costume and they sat at tables outside the ice cream palour.

Be seeing you

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