Category: Tales from the Olympia

The Man With his Eyes Sewn Shut – Part Four

‘Where the hell is that man?’ Sam was pacing backstage, missing his Iago. Everyone else kept well out of his way, preparing themselves for the curtain to rise. ‘Ned!’ Ned lifted his head from his script which he was furiously studying. This could be it, the opportunity he had been waiting for, but there was a tricky song in the middle of the play, … Read More The Man With his Eyes Sewn Shut – Part Four

The Man with His Eyes Sewn Shut – Part Three

Click here to start this story at the beginning. Rehearsals for Othello began in earnest. In typical style, the company only had a week before opening. Nora darted around the stage between scenes, taking her measurements for the costumes that she would have to create, though mostly she only adjusted older outfits that would stand a new use. Her two young apprentices followed her … Read More The Man with His Eyes Sewn Shut – Part Three

The Man with His Eyes Sewn Shut – Part Two

Click to start at the beginning. Best laid plans, it is said, often go awry, but Ned had no knowledge of this saying. He woke fresh from his earlier than usual departure from the tavern, and was in good humour as he conducted his ablutions. Sean had walked Nora home before taking up his pitch along the road from the Olympia theatre, and Ned … Read More The Man with His Eyes Sewn Shut – Part Two

The Man with His Eyes Sewn Shut – Part One

The year was nearing its end, the days barely worth noticing as the dark winter nights invaded London. Ned had never minded the cold. Keeps the mind sharp, his father had always said, and since most evenings were spent in the warmth of a local tavern it didn’t matter to him that the streets outside were white with frost. As soon as Ned stepped off … Read More The Man with His Eyes Sewn Shut – Part One

A New Life – Part Four

Celine looked out to see Daniel on the street, arguing with another man. The dark blue uniform marked him out as a policeman and her heart sank. ‘What on earth is going on here?’ Maria strode forward and interrupted the shouting men. ‘I’m being accused of theft!’ Daniel blurted. ‘Not theft exactly, ma’am. He has paid for these goods but at a reduced price … Read More A New Life – Part Four

A New Life – Part Three

It was Maria McCarthy who stood at the door. ‘Come in,’ Celine stood back to admit her friend. ‘I apologise for the bareness of it all. We are still a way from having this set up as a proper home.’ ‘No matter.’ Maria hung her cloak from the stand in the hallway. ‘I was just passing and I thought I would see if you … Read More A New Life – Part Three

A New Life – Part Two

By the day of Ruth Simpson’s arrival, the Gower Street house was looking like a home. There were curtains hanging in the dining room and the matrimonial bedroom, nets in the attic room designated for Ruth. She had a bed as well, an old cast iron bedstead that Daniel had bought at auction. In the kitchen was a fine big wooden table, a dresser … Read More A New Life – Part Two

A New Life – Part One

On the first frosty morning of November, Celine and Daniel Johnson moved into their new house on Gower Street. The house looked nothing special, was rented at a rate that Daniel worried would be a burden, but it was theirs. The only furniture they had was a bed donated from their good friends Sam and Maria, a sofa liberated from the Olympia Theatre, and … Read More A New Life – Part One

The Changing of the Leaves – Part Five

Missed the last instalment? The Changing of the Leaves – Part Four Maria barely slept that night. She lay on her bed, listening for a while to Celine weeping in the bedroom above that she shared with Daniel, to Daniel’s soft placations as he apologised for upsetting his wife. When Celine gave in and forgave him she buried her head in the pillow, blocking … Read More The Changing of the Leaves – Part Five

The Changing of the Leaves – Part Three

Missed the beginning of this story? The Changing of the Leaves – Part One ‘Can you imagine it? Every day the same for the rest of our lives?’ Maria put down her tapestry and addressed Celine. Like every other morning that week they were sitting quietly in the morning room. ‘Well, it won’t be, will it?’ Celine pointed out. ‘You will have the baby … Read More The Changing of the Leaves – Part Three

The Changing of the Leaves – Part Two

  The sun was shining over Piccadilly as the carriage transported Maria towards her rendezvous. Not a soul knew where she was going excepting one, and she had asked to be dropped at Fortnum and Mason, though that wasn’t her final destination. Descending to the pavement, Maria let the doorman do his duty and waited until the coachman, Peter, had driven off before slipping … Read More The Changing of the Leaves – Part Two

The Changing of the Leaves – Part One

How Papa would laugh if he could see his daughter now, Maria thought, wincing as her maid, Sally, tightened the strings of her stays, her swelling stomach protesting. He could never know how unhappy she was. Not that he ever wanted to see her again anyway. ‘Ma,am, did you want the blue or the pink today?’ Sally held two dresses in her arms. ‘Oh, … Read More The Changing of the Leaves – Part One