Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Rocks And Roles

The mistake that most of the commentators seem to be making when reviewing ITV's double drama: 'Walk Away And I Stumble,' a line from Macy Gray's 'I Try', is in confusing Stonehenge which doesn't feature, with Avebury Stone Circle where some of the drama is set.

Any Wiltshire schoolboy knows that Stonehenge, once a succession of circles, now consists of a ring of linear sarsen stones in a single circular structure, situated in a field just outside of Amesbury and visible from the A303, the old London Road. That it resembles the patient placing together of stones, as if a giant child had been attempting to construct a house of cards like challenge where one false move and the whole thing would tumble. Some have tumbled, though the basic shape is maintained and they continue, huddled together as if they had taken a single hit from the almighty's bar skittle ball.

More literate Wiltshire schoolboys will know that Hardy's Tess of the Durbervilles hid at the stones at Stonehenge while on the run for killing Alec d'Urberville before she was found, arrested, and made to become Hardy's 'twister in the wind' at a Dorchester gallows. Film buff schoolboys and red blooded men will remember Nastassja Kinski in Polanski's version.

The stones of Averbury look far more haphazard and are of irregular shape, sitting in relative isolation, jutting up to the sky like the remains of a family of ogre's game of splits. And although made up of three circles, two inside of one, now look random and disorganised at ground level, thanks to the road system, houses, and the delightful Red Lion Inn - the spookiest pub in all of England: whoooooo!!

And no Tess of the D filmed here. Only 'Children of the Stones' a 1970s scary do starring Iain Cuthbertson. And: ' Walk Away And I Stumble,' a formulaic piece of cliched crap with only the Avebury stones and the Wiltshire town of Wotton Bassett and its eccentric town hall perched on its fifteen pillar legs, to offer relief.

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