Yesterday managed to demonstrate that twenty minutes at 7.00 in the morning is very different to twenty minutes at 12:10. When the alarm went off and my room filled with Chris Molyes's voice I wanted the twenty minutes before I had to drag myself out of bed to last forever. Predictably they flashed by in approximately 0.057 of 'normal' time. But when it came to the twenty minutes before lunch, they managed to stretch out like something, well, long and stretchy, as if I were the Mad Hatter condemned for the clock never to move ("no tocks no ticks, the clock struck six"). Which is probably a long winded way of saying that I really didn't relish being bound up in clock time yesterday.
But to return to the Mad Hatter (and trust me it is a wonder that I can think of anything that doesn't happen within the realms of wonderland) today yeilds something beyond not wanting to crawl out of bed. My final performance of Alice. Well, not my performance, because as much as I could the Artistic Director hasn't whipped me into a blue dress and through the rabbit hole yet. But the final time I will sit through the show (I am not putting a number on how many times I have seen it because that would send me into a frenzy of maddness, with or without the March Hare). I was warned about the Christmas show by the other attendants not long after I started. It holds a little dread for even the most usually enthusiastic people. One, who shall remain nameless, took to wearing ear plugs after his 20th viewing of Alice, which apparently don't deaden the production entirely but do leave you able to think of other things than the Queen's aria. I probably got the experience softened somewhat because although at one point I was only leaving the WYP to sleep, the crutches meant I was officially deemed a health and safety risk in the theatre itself (I'm sorry, would you like someone who cannot walk unaided leading you out in the event of a fire? My plan was to ask someone in a wheelchair if I could sit on them if that happened) so I got to work my wonderland magic on the tat stall. But it goes without saying that I have seen Alice more than I have seen any other production in my life (and I hit double figures - just - for JCS so you know I'm saying something here). I know the lines, the songs and the dances. Whether it was advisable for myself and Dean to demonstrate our indepth attendant knowledge of 'The Lobster Quadrille' ('Will you?' 'Won't you?' 'Will you?' 'Won't you?' 'Won't you join the dance?') behind the tat stall just as the Director (and ultimate Boss of the WYP) walked by remains to be seen.
I realised on Sunday as I found myself laughing - out loud when no one else was - at the Canary and Eaglet who were having a mini fight in the background while everyone else was concentrating on Alice, that the production has become something of a comfy blanket. And I honestly didn't expect to be saying that. I've also found myself enjoying it more and more as the weeks have gone by. I suspect I will feel a little pang tonight. Not something I won't be able to get over, mind you, but a pang nonetheless.