Saturday, 25 February 2012

AUDIO: Dame Diana Rigg Q&A at the V&A, London

It is apt that to mark the opening of a photographic exhibition charting the rise of our monarch, the V&A museum chooses a princess of televisual supremacy, Britannia's very own Dame Diana Rigg.

On 10th February, a mild winter evening, something quite special tingles in the air. Or should I say, someone quite special glides through the V&A cafe. Running a little ahead of schedule, getting very lost around the moving corridors of the vast building attempting to locate the subtly labelled lecture theatre (a vague notion of Harry Potter on his first day meandering Hogwarts springs to mind), something equally magical happened; a premature shared presence with the 'Queen of Sin' herself. Fleeting yes, but special nonetheless, as Dame Diana is escorted past me, to be settled for pre-talk pabulum. Fast forward twenty minutes, seated and primed with anticipation, enter Diana, the embodiment of of 60s propulsive meritorious cool, stage left.

To rapturous applause, led by that distinct mischievous smile, she shakes off the 10ft tall leather clad projection in residence behind her, to a full house, many of whom would fondly know her as audacious Avenger, Mrs. Emma Peel. Vivacious and as sharp as a foil blade she has so expertly brandished in her time, skillfully, she nonchalantly redirects the interviewer elsewhere when touching on matters of no interest to her for discussion. From her 'Jewel in the Crown' childhood in India, to her time as unparallelled Bond wife, not just Bond girl, much of the talk was spent recounting fabulous anecdotes of her times treading the boards, on the finest stages an acting career has to offer. My favourite question came from an audience member: "How have you dealt with the pests that have come after you because of Emma Peel?" to which Diana answered, breaking many a heart: "Oh I just gave the letters to my letters were responded to with 'You are far too young, now go run around the block!"... "There are photographs all over the world with my forged signature by her".

In conjunction with the Cecil Beaton  Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee exhibition, Dame Diana lends her dulcet, eloquent tones to the exhibition audio guide, until 22nd April 2012.

Perhaps in another ten years the V&A will be opening an exhibition to celebrate the diamond jubilee of The Avengers and all other televisual gems of that vintage that once adorned our screens. The shows that brought this brilliant nation wonder, wit and groovy lustre; a world as idealistic and quaint as that portrayed in Avenger-land for us to aspire to. Rule Britannia! Britannia rule the radio waves, indeed.

For those who couldn't attend this event, listen to my recording of it below. It's not amazing quality, but nonetheless, if you are a fan of Diana's I hope you can still enjoy it. Please link back to me and share.

NB: This recording and photos must not be used anywhere without my permission or credit.

Posted by: Geek Girl Kerensa Creswell-Bryant
Geek Girl, Updated at: 11:41