[the garden at Charleston Farmhouse where members of the Bloomsbury group often held theatrical performances]
Oh, dear. I seem to have got stuck between the acts in Between the Acts. I have ground to a halt with my reading of Virginia Woolf's novels. I missed out the first Night and Day so I suppose it's appropriate that I haven't quite read Between the Acts, her last novel. It's not for want of trying; the book has been everywhere with me over the last couple of weeks, but I think I might have had a surfeit of Woolf.
My other excuse is that I have never liked plays within plays or novels, or poems within novels, or really anything in a novel that asks me to imagine that a character wrote it rather than the author. I always skip poems and extracts from books in novels (then find later that they contained something vital to the plot), and I kept wanting to skip the play in Between the Acts. (If I'm being very pernickety, I have to say I don't deal well with the change to italics for the play parts, and the constant ellipses...drove...me...mad.) I can see that there is plenty to admire in the book, but repetition of the usual themes finally wore me down. I need something different to read now, something more warm and Whippleish. (In time, I will reread the very interesting sections on Between the Acts in Romantic Moderns and see if I can tackle it again.)
[I found some wonderful photos of a 1908 pageant here. I imagine the pageant in Bewteen the Acts might have looked a little like this.]