On Saturday, the clubhouse was transformed into the haunting Wuthering Heights, family home of Catherine Earnshaw and her adopted brother Heathcliff, for our annual Summer Ball.
Past Pleasures did a wonderful job in immersing guests from their arrival into the dark love story of Wuthering Heights. After being announced by the costumed footman, over a glass of bubbly members chatted with the newly wed Catherine and Edgar Linton, and Isabella Linton, who was eagerly awaiting Heathcliff’s arrival. Once everyone had arrived, Heathcliff made his dramatic entrance and spun the tale of how his beloved Catherine had ended up falling in love with the pompous Edgar, and his plans to win her back.
Members were then shown to the Princess Alexandra Hall, which had been transformed into a beautiful theatrical banqueting hall fit for Georgian nobility. The meal itself took inspiration from the period, with a salmon starter, mutton main course, and a pineapple tart for dessert. Our dinner guests were also offered gin lollipops as a twist on typical Georgian pallet cleansers, much to their delight.
One of the talking points at the dinner table was our guide on dinner party etiquette. Guests were informed of the do’s and don’ts of how one should eat, and given suggested appropriate conversation topics.
Throughout dinner, the entertainment from our actors continued. Cathy warred over her decision to marry Edgar; Heathcliff returned from making his fortune and set about wooing Isabella as revenge; and finally, Cathy took her last breath after confessing to a heartbroken Heathcliff she had always loved him. Even our more seasoned theatre-going members found themselves misty eyed as the final scene ended.
For the duration of the event we were joined by Charles Burns, the UK’s most popular silhouette artist. Charles was busy mingling throughout the reception and dinner, working his way around all our guests to capture their profiles. Members were amazed at the speed and accuracy with which Charles captured their likeness, with some guests getting not just one but two or three silhouettes done in different poses.
To end the evening our Regency musicians, the Fortuna Trio, took to the stage with caller Toni Warner to take our guests through several dances of the period. The wine took the edge off everyone’s nerves and soon were going through the hottest new steps from Paris.
We would like to thank all the staff, Past Pleasures, our musicians, and Charles Burns for their work during the evening, but we would also like to thank our members for the enthusiasm shown throughout the night, once again making it one of the highlights of the ROSL event calendar. You can see our full album of photos here.