Week 2 In The Life Of A Musical Theatre Fanatic
| By London Theatre Direct
Start the day with a bit of Zumba practice. I've decided to put in a dance to the classic latin tune by Gloria Estefan "Conga". It's a great tune, but also I heard via Elaine Paige last week that a musical is about to be made including some of Gloria's music. It goes down a storm in the class and I'm pleased with my morning nod to musical theatre. On to the building site where today's job is painting doors. There are couple of young electricians on site so I have to listen to radio one all day (yawn!)
Spent the whole day alone on the building site. The boss and I usually have musical theatre Friday, where we switch off the radio and have my iPod on shuffle for the day instead. This is tricky in a building site with blokes who don't like MT but just on a Friday they tolerate (and secretly enjoy) it. Anyway, it's easier when I'm on my own, and I spend the day singing very loudly to all of my favourite Broadway and West End tunes. Spend lunch time watching a bit of British Bake Off and tweeting my favourites. Get a couple of replies from Wicked star Kerry Ellis's backing singers which is cool.
Bit of personal training and then home. Decide to watch Mamma Mia! to try to get back that summer feeling. I haven't seen this stage show for about 8 years and would love to watch Dianne Pilkington playing Donna. She is my favourite Glinda to date, although I will hopefully be watching Savannah Stevens in a couple of weeks and I've heard she is excellent. Feeling a bit more sunny, I head to bed.
Up early. Checked Twitter and had a lovely convo with Alfie Bow about his trip to Korea and the foods he should avoid( they serve Kimchee with everything which is a spicy pickled cabbage and can give you a touch of the Johnny Cash!) I was lucky enough to visit South Korea on my way back from visiting my sister who lives in Sydney. It's such an interesting place with a diverse population and culture. They have a fantastic pop music scene, which is very musical theatre. My teenagers and I loved it and hope to visit again. Did a few Boring domestic things and then off to Jekyll and Hyde at the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil.
I stumbled across the soundtrack for this show about 7 years and immediately loved it. With the showstopper "This Is The Moment" and the fantastic female duet "In His Eyes" this has a beautiful score and lovely lyrics. I watched a touring version of the show a year or so later and was bitterly disappointed. It starred current West End Evita leading man Marti Pellow, who I had previously loved in the touring version of The Witches of Eastwick. I found the professional production of Jekyll and Hyde very slow and with not enough contrasts in light, sound, movement etc. It turns out that this is obviously the way the show has been written rather than any production issues.
Yeovil Amateur Operatic always put on a fantastic production, far too good for its Amateur billing and this is no different. The costumes, set, lighting sound are excellent, as are the performances by the cast. The leads are all excellent and apart from a few directorial pho pars (the lead actor really need not straddle over a stool not once but twice in the opening scene) it is a very professional show. The problem I have found is with the content of the show it's self. The scenes are far too slow and self indulgent and there is no contrast of light or sound. The show carries on with the same lighting and mood for the whole 2 1/2 hrs and I'm afraid I had a nap in act 2. This is not a critique of the company, but of the show its self. It's such a shame that such a beautiful score can't make for a more interesting show. Well done Yeovil, but I hope you will chose something more interesting in future.
Home for a few Saturday night ciders while watching Strictly then bed.
After a lazy morning I head off for a dance rehearsal for Jesus Christ Superstar. I love dance rehearsals because my attention and hyperactivity issues are not a problem. We are constantly challenged and our choreographer is really engaging and inspiring. The dancing is tricky, especially when coupled with some very difficult harmonies but I love the challenge.
We had a costume trying on session part way through the rehearsal. This always separates the Diva's from the don't cares. I love it. It's so much fun. There are girls throwing tantrums because the clothes are too big, too small, not flattering etc. I see it as sport. I do something called the costume lottery. I tell the wardrobe mistress that everything is fine, but actually don't try anything on until the dress rehearsal. That way it is too late to change it. It's so much fun. You end up with clothes that are like sacks or that give you the biggest camel toe in the world. I've had trousers that I've had to pull up over my boobs so they don't fall down and dresses that I've had to tear to get them on in time! What's not to like? It's much more fun than having a tantrum about things not fitting.
Monday morning is a real pain in the neck literally. After a quiet Zumba class I head to the building site. The electricians are in again and the power is off! That means no light, no kettle and no music!!
I have two ceilings to paint (hence the pain in the neck!), which is boring enough, but in silence is unbearable. I decide to iplayer the Elaine Paige show to pass the time but after there is an extended bought of ridiculous laughing and snorting I decide it's not worth wasting my monthly data quota and continue in silence. Painting a ceiling on a gloomy day with no electric lighting is pretty difficult and I expect when I look at it in light in a couple of days it will look more like Banksy has visited.
Rehearsal for JCS in the evening, which was rubbish. With 5 weeks to the show most of the cast still don't know the lyrics to the title song let alone the movements. Oh the joys of Amdram!
Nominated on Facebook today to post five songs in five days. Today's song is "I Still Believe" from Miss Saigon. This is the song that made me first love musical theatre.
Today's song is "Defying Gravity". It's the song that I've listened to in some of my darkest days and always lifts me to fight on!
Today is Cardiac rehab day, so spend it chatting with many people from the slightly older generation. Got a cha at the moment who has unfortunately misunderstood my friendly and helpfulness and thinks he is in with a shot. This happens a lot in this job and to nurses and it's very tricky to deal with.
One of my jobs for the local theatre group is to help organise the publicity. This involves writing little bits for the local press. Normally I find this easy, as I am so passionate about theatre and I want to share it with everyone. I have found it much more difficult with the production of JCS and have suffered hugely from writer's block. In the weeks leading up to the production I am supposed to submit one article per week to match a photo which I'm told to use. This week's photo is of the Priests and it's basically four overweight, balding, grumpy middle aged men standing with their arms folded. I have to say it's going to be a tough write!
Wednesday is here again and I start my day with my lovely 50+ keep fit class. Lots of them have read last week's blog and we have a great chat about the little bits of amusement within it. One of the ladies asks my opinion about which show she should see on a trip to London in a few weeks time. She had seen the original production of Miss Saigon and loved it, so I advise that she watches the new one.
Lonely day on the building site follows and after a bit of Zumba I head to another JCS rehearsal. We are rehearsing the last supper scene again and I'm looking forward to my part as the apostle Thaddeus. I have even started shopping around for beard options. I get to the rehearsal a little late and notice a new chap has arrived. A lovely young guy who I've met before and is an excellent dancer. The scene is being set and I realise that my space at the table has been filled! I have been upstaged by a man! I am so disappointed. The only thing that was going to make this show fun!
One of my other tasks is to organise the cast t-shirts. They have the JCS logo on the front and anything you like (within reason) on the back. I have fought with myself not to come up with some very rude things to have on my shirt, like the name of my favourite song from The Book of Mormon! Instead I decide to go for 'Waiting to be discovered'. One of my other friends in the cast has decided to have 'Macavity' written on the back of theirs. This is partly because it's a nod to another great musical and partly because his character name is Phillip! Immature? Yes, but also very funny for those who will work it out!
Today's song is "Slipping Through My Fingers" from Mamma Mia!. As a mum with a teenage daughter it is just so perfect, although sometimes I think the song "Monster" may be more appropriate.
By Nicky Sweetland