BLOG : Week 4 In The Life Of A Musical Theatre Fanatic
Tuesday 04 November 2014
We catch up with Nicky Sweetland again for the fourth Week In The Life Of A Theatre Fanatic.
Started a cold today, so after I struggle through a Zumba session I'm not looking forward to a day outside painting on the building site. The clients have chosen blue for their front door and my hands are so cold by lunchtime that they match it.
Have a nice Twitter chat with one of the swings from Miss Saigon about the number of times I've seen the show. So far it's eleven. Eight original productions, two youth and I've seen the new production twice, including the astounding 25th Anniversary Gala. I'm off to see it for the third time on Saturday and can't wait.
Another Zumba session and a very high temperature later, I crawl into bed!
Absolutely full of cold and feel quite ropey! Really busy day on the building site trying to finish off the job. It's musical theatre Friday so I am at least allowed to listen to show tunes, even if I can't sing because I sound a bit like Kermit the Frog. After some personal training clients home to bed early.
My warm bed seemed nearly as appealing today as my two favourite shows, which is saying a lot. However, I rallied myself ready for my best ever day of musical theatre. I've done two-show days before, but never my two favourites in one day. It's an interesting comparison.
Travel up with my partner, and our three girls. He is taking the younger ones to The Lion King while my fifteen year old and I are watching Miss Saigon and then Kerry Ellis' last Wicked. The younger girls haven't quite got the theatre bug yet, so I'm sending them to the The Lion King to try to infect them a bit more. It's a really good beginners musical which I often suggest for people to start with. After a bit of lunch we go our separate ways and my daughter and I head for the Prince Edward Theatre. It's one of my favourite London theatres - historic and ornate but not run down.
We don't check the board or buy a programme and prefer to find out who's in the cast from whether they come on stage or not (I like to call this the cast lottery). I'm delighted to see Tanya Manalang, the alternate Kim come on, but other than that we get the original cast. As this is my third time watching this production I would have quite liked to see some of the understudies/alternates just as a comparison. The show was as fabulous as usual!
Another quick bite to eat, and then off to the Apollo Victoria Theatre for Kerry Ellis' last performance in Wicked.
I won't spend too much time raving about this here, but if you want to read more you can check out my review of Kerry Ellis' final Wicked performance. Popped to the stage door and the lovely Kerry greeted like a long lost friend. I even managed to get her to say on video that singing with me was amazing! Bliss!
Illness made my Sunday pretty rough, so it's best that I don't write too much about it. Did have time for lots of tweeting and writing though!
When I eventually got home I decided to lie on the sofa and watch a film. Put Shrek on, which I love. Never got around to watching the stage musical version but would have loved to.
Still feeling rubbish, but luckily my bonus job to help pay the bills for this week isn't on the building site. I am a 'jack of all trades but master of none' as regular readers will have noticed. As I've finished the contract on the building site this week, I'm doing some acting work for a production company in the evenings instead. This does mean I've got all day to try to recover from the lurgy.
I have rather been duped into this acting job. I did a really big singing gig locally which was produced by a local guy who I've worked with before. The gig was called 'Guitars On The Beach' and I got to do backing singing for Ian Gillan of Deep Purple fame and the original Jesus from Jesus Christ Superstar. I also got to sing with the original Buddy, Billy Geraghty who was yummy! This was all in front of about 6,000 people, so it was pretty cool.
Anyway, I'm basically spending every evening this week dressed as a blood stained Zombie frightening people who have paid for a Halloween tram ride. Bit different?! Luckily there are some other great people also doing it, so it's not too bad.
Have to say, with this terrible cold, I didn't need much zombie makeup. The pail skin and dark rings under the eyes were actually just mine.
Finally feeling a little better, and I'm off to do my NHS classes. Haven't quite managed to get the fake blood off my hands from last night, which feels a bit macabre as I'm working with heart patients! I've still got it up my nose too, because it's got stuck in the bits I've made sore from blowing my nose constantly!
One of the clients is a retired Journalist and he's been reading my blogs. He's complimentary about them, which is a surprise for two reasons. 1. He is a very highly qualified and experienced journalist and 2. When my partner read them he spent most of the time rolling his eyes!
On to another one of my jobs, cleaning a rugby pavilion. I'm all glamour. I decided to listen to Sunset Boulevard while I mop. This in my opinion is Andrew Lloyd Webber's finest musical. The score is just sublime and I would love for there to be a revival. It seems to have become fashionable to say that you don't like Lloyd Webber, but I would never say this. There are shows he's written which I don't like, but classics like Phantom Of The Opera are still a phenomenon all these years later. I watched Phantom Of The Opera for the third time from what was pitched as a restricted view seat about 3 months ago and absolutely loved it.
Although I am feeling better, an hour of high intensity dancing doesn't really seem achievable so no Zumba today and home to bed instead!
No Jesus Christ Superstar rehearsals for me this week because of the horror gig, which is a good job as my voice now sounds more like the bass of Caiaphas than its usual high soprano.
I'm not perfect in rehearsals. I'm about a stone heavier than I should be and my dancing is more like one of the hippos in Disney's Fantasia than the stylish fury I'm supposed to be portraying but I do at least learn the moves and lyrics.
Finally got a bit of a review of The Lion King from my partner and they loved it! There was a break for a technical issue in Act 1. Pretty unusual? I've had that happen to me a couple of times in Bristol and put it down to the fact they were touring productions so weren't as well set up as the West End.
Struggled through some excise classes and scared a few people on trams!
By Nicky Sweetland
Classics, West End Favourites, Critic's Choice, Hen Night, Our Picks
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