Tuesday 30 August 2016

Why can't life be one big summer holiday?...it doesn't have to involve Cliff Richard and a big red bus.

So, we are approaching the end of another summer holiday. In a weeks time I have to go back to the day job, back to teaching. However, my summer has been quite eventful actually. For a change.

I spent a beautiful couple of weeks in sunny (most of the time) Frinton-on-Sea playing the Widow Corney in Frinton Summer Theatre's production of "Oliver!" To say the show had 14 children in it, it was the most "grown-up show" I have ever been involved with. No divas, no tantrums, no sniping, no jealousy, no negativity (except one tiny moment from me that only the glorious director was privy to, and it was not on the scale of my usual meltdowns - I'll tell you about one of them later). The whole process was joyful and hugely satisfying and reignited my passion for what I should be doing.

The show itself took place in a tent! We did four shows in two days! We only got into the tent the morning of the first show and promptly had to vacate it to make way for a coffee morning! However, because the cast was so laid back and happy to be there nobody fussed and we put on a blooming good show.

While rehearsing for "Oliver!" I was also having to rehearse for a Cabaret Confidential. Another 20min slot at The Pheasantry I did in August, 5 days after getting back from Frinton. I had decided I wanted to finally get back on the horse called "Cabaret" and start putting together a new show and thought 20mins at The Pheasantry would be just the ticket to get me started. I decided a homage to happier times was in order so my set (and my show, when finished) would have an 80s theme. I can't remember what I did last week but I can recite all the words to "Wake me up before you go-go" without batting an eyelid (apologies if I have used that "joke" before) so the 80s seemed a good place to start.

Up until the day I was very excited. I was prepared, I knew my words (for once - although I had a small blip in one song, but I wouldn't be me without at least one mistake) but on the actual day I started to panic that people would not find me funny. The singing didn't bother me, that usually takes care of itself, but I was literally terrified that my new material would not be funny and, as I only had a small contingent of people in who actually knew me, sympathy laughs would be in short supply. So I panicked right up until my rehearsal at the venue. After that I resigned myself to it, I thought it would be what it would be. There was no getting out of it. Funny or not I had to do it.

Thankfully my opening gambit, which I won't tell you about in case you come to see my show in the future, was met with a wall of laughter so I knew the rest would be OK. I actually didn't sing as well as I can but I didn't actually mind. I know the theme works and it made me want to go home and immediately start working on fleshing out the rest of the show. Watch this space!

I think I will leave you with that for now. I promised you tales of my meltdowns but I think I will save that for another blogpost. Always leave them wanting more I say.

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