THE WORLD PREMIERE BANQUET
BLENHEIM PALACE, 1 NOVEMBER 1997

 The Marquis of Blandford and Pipe Major Stephen Duffy
Pipe Major Stephen Duffy of the Caledonian Pipe Band played up a storm, marching round and round the long banquet table.  At the conclusion of his stirring performance, the Marquis of Blandford, presented the traditional dram of whisky.  The Marquis was an enthusiastic and gracious dinner guest whom I first met on the day before the event, during the lone rehearsal for the orchestra and gymnasts.  Drawn by the music, the Marquis came out to the marquee.  By then, the lighting and seats were in and the crew was hurrying to finish the woodland set.  He watched the rehearsal with that same broad grin you see here and then asked me if it was too late to get an invitation to the premiere.  Well, he's a charming fellow (and he lives therre, after all), so I invited him straight away. "But you'll have to run down to Moss Bros," I admonished.   “Black Tie, you know.”  He laughed and said that he thought he might be able to find something appropriate in his closet.

By now, you will recognize the rest of us, but look at Lynn Redgrave, all the way on the right, framed by the greenery.  As brightly as she shone in SHINE she was absolutely radiant at the premiere.  Now, that's “star” quality -- recognized publicly in January, 1999, when she received a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in the film, GODS AND MONSTERS.

P.S.  The lovely young woman leaning in for a word with me is Wonkie Hills, the brilliant party coordinator who managed the entire World Premiere banquet for the Admirable Crichton and has now formed her own company, Zest Events.

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