Anna’s Not True Story

The backdrop for a local production of The King and I
For the local production of The King and I

This morning a local congregation member showed us around the local theater where he works making props, helping to stage productions and generally looking after the building. The whole place is largely staffed by volunteers and the players are all local and unpaid. Currently playing is The King and I and the painting of the Buddha as the backdrop for the production could not be missed. The staging area is ’tiled’ with copies from Anna’s diary, she is the ‘I’ of The King and I and, let it be known, that in actual fact she was not romantically involved with the King. Not at all. It is recorded that Anna (Anna Leonowens) was regarded by the King as ‘difficult’. That her story turned into something quite unlike her true one is as it is and very many people have cavorted across dance floors to the strains of some of the hit songs. Shall – We – Dance…one, two, three,  On a bright cloud of music shall we fly? And so on – so unlike Anna’s true story.

This post is for several woman I’ve known for many years whose lives are coming to a close, relatively soon. One wrote her unedited life story some years ago and sent it to me. It was a way to remember, embrace and let go of her long life. And move on, which she did. The writing remains with me for safe keeping it’s a story of love and loss, adventure and intrigue, joy and sadness and quite a lot of fun too. She loved to tell of her time dancing on stage in a theater in south Manchester. I’ll not note the name of the group here as I’d give her away, photographs taken at the time show her as a lovely bright girl dressed to the nines.

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