The play, by Andy Rashleigh, is a dramatisation of the man and his life, starring Ian McKellen. Baden-Powell would sleep on the balcony of his house, Pax Hill, on at the Hampshire - Surrey border , because, after yearsas a soldier and regimental commander, he found lying down in a bedroom claustrophobic.
Baden-Powell may appear to be an anachronism today, but it seems that the time is ripe for a revival of his kind of self reliance. It might drag youth away from computer screens and mobile phones, and allow them to get in touch with the world outdoors and themselves at one and the same time.
These days, childhood is lived, for the most part, vicariously (look it up). Where there was once tree climbing and imagination, there are computer games and "Neighbours". I think it's vital for kids to experience life for themselves, rather than treat it as a spectator sport.
Throughout his life, Baden-Powell fought against unfairness, moral degeneracy, and racial bigotry, at a time when to do so was regarded as unfashionable. Today, in many parts of the country, the Scouting movement remains strong, and teenagers who come up through it have a strong sense of community spirit and of their place in society. (...note...in the village where I live the Scout group has difficulty going from one year to the next; there are too few volunteers to keep it going).....ND
In this play, set on Baden-Powell's balcony in a 1937, he is looking back on his life as he talks to his young son. The title role is taken by Ian McKellen, and the cast included Zoe Waites, Nicholas Boulton, Jon Glover, John Rowe, Philip Fox, George Hammond and Alice Hart. The producer was Cherry Cookson.
The above was based on the articles appearing in RT for 10-16 Jul 04.
Asterisked plays known to exist in VRPCC collections.
Nigel Deacon / Diversity website
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