Left: "All Fools Day" or "A Feast Of Fools" Painting By Lanechka Fevola
Right: "The Clown Fairy" in "The Love of Four Colonels" Photograph Of Peter Ustinov
Can a feast day be fitting for a fool? Yes, if the day is that of the Feast of Fools! It is indeed fitting to begin the month of April in this way. But this April First is not any old day. This April Fools Day, the feast day, is held this year, on what is regarded as Holy Thursday, in Easter week. Here, rather than a Holy Fool, and a Last Supper, we have a Feast Day indeed, with a difference. We are ushering, not out, but in. For this April sees the beginning of a celebration of the centenary of the birth of Sir Peter Ustinov. It was Sir Peter Ustinov who, those of us who here continue his legacy, know, as the founder of the feast! For it was Sir Peter who began this foray into the area of prejudice awareness, in person, continued, and re-formed, in recent years, by his son, the founder of this online venture, Igor Ustinov.
It takes either a wise fool or a foolish wisdom, to think that a forum, and friends, thinkers, writers, ideas, initiatives, can solve a problem as with us , almost, as ever. But the quixotic in me, and I played that Man of La Mancha on stage, knows, it is a special foolishness worth attempting. As is the centenary of the birth of Sir Peter Ustinov worth celebrating.
Art imitates life, but life also, can learn from art. In the painting above, " A Feast Of Fools," by Lanechka Fevola, we see all of human life as we know it, in all its foolishness. Here, everyone is the same, and yet, no, in essence, everyone is different. The eccentricity, absurdity, is evident, to all! Caked in white clown face, or covered in present covid mask, we all resemble each other, yet know surely that we are not all like each other. But couldn't we just try to at least like each other?! A world without prejudice, a world of harmony, a post covid freedom earned, not grabbed, no libertarian self indulgence, an irresponsible, "me first," when a "we all together," is needed. But a unifying self expression, a celebration of something worth celebrating, a better world?!
Of course it can feel like a fantasy. In the photograph above, " the Love Of Four Colonels," of Peter Ustinov, we see him in his own play, of the title. It is a fantasy. In it, a sleeping princess is wooed by four potential suitors, who must attempt to win the heart of her, whom they profess to love. To win hearts and minds is not easy. Whether in a work of fiction, it is nevertheless, a fact! Sir Peter said, " we are divided by our convictions, we are united by our doubts." I doubt we can win a victory over prejudice any time very soon. But we can sooth hearts and inspire minds in the attempting of winning a victory. And we can have fun while doing so. It was the work of Peter, combining comedy with drama, humour with humanitarianism, that showed it can be done.
And we too, have a lot to do... Happy April Fool's Day...and watch this space and others linking with it...for more...much more to come... for the Sir Peter Ustinov Centenary...