My kingdom for a prop

PUBLISHED: 09:19 30 November 2011 | UPDATED: 20:22 20 February 2013

My kingdom for a prop

My kingdom for a prop

The girl with (a copy of) the Dragon Tattoo, saves the day for Ginny Davis

My kingdom for a prop



The girl with (a copy of) the Dragon Tattoo, saves the day for Ginny Davis



I was in Tutbury Village Hall, Staffordshire, preparing for a performance of Double Booked. Suddenly I realised a prop, a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrsen, was missing. I had left it behind at a venue in Sussex the previous week. It was an important prop. The fact that it was written by a Scandinavian author whose gender is hard to determine from his name is a joke in the show. Possibly one of those you need to be there moments.



Panic! 5.30 pm. The shops would be shut. Nevertheless I set off to the High Street, confident that I would find the book on sale somewhere. Two shops were open. I ran into the first. Do you sell books? Magazines? No, real books. (I sounded a bit terse.) Sorry, no, just magazines. I tried the second shop. Do you have any books? Sorry love, just fish and chips.



Exasperated, I dashed back to the Hall, which was in a residential street. Time was running out. A young woman was standing outside a front door. Do you live here? Yes. Hello. Sorry, hello. Do you have any books? Er, yes ..? She looked uncertain. Well, look, Im in a bit of a rush but do you have any by Stieg Larrsen, you know, the Millennium Trilogy? Actually Im in the middle of reading the third. Ive got the second one upstairs. Theyre great arent they! Yes, probably (Ive never read them). Can I borrow it? Um, yes. Mind if I ask why? It was a reasonable question in the circumstances. I checked the time. Curtain up in 45 minutes and we hadnt done the sound check yet. I gabbled an explanation.



Oh, thats great. said my new best friend. Its not great. I explained. Its an emergency. Can I borrow it just for the evening? She fetched the book. I hugged her, offered a complimentary ticket and ran back to the venue. Id have preferred The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because the cover is distinctive, but any book by Larrson would do. During the interval I explored my dressing room. I opened a cupboard. Books, hundreds of them, were stacked in boxes. There were Dan Browns, Maeve Binchys, Joanna Trollopes and I was filled with certainty that if I had time to search I would have found The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In other words, the very thing I lacked was almost certainly in the same building as me all along.



Was this just a coincidence or were there darker forces at work here? Its just that Tutbury Castle is reputedly haunted and I was told that no-one could find my book where I left it in Sussex. So, I just wonder whether Tutburys ghost had flitted down to Sussex for me that evening, picked up my prop and mistakenly assumed that it belonged in the cupboard with all the other books. I suppose Ill only know if someone goes and has a look.



Ginny Davis is a writer and performer specialising in comedic one-woman shows on the subject of contemporary family life. www.ginnydavis.com


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