Sunday, December 31, 2006

What Corinne Did (2006)

What Corinne Did (2006)

If you're a long term DA reader you'll know I love a bit of retrospect. And if you aren't and you don't, now's probably the time to learn. Thus in the spirit of this being the end of the year and all that, I proudly present DA's Review of 2006.

What can I say but - it's been fun.

January:

The year started with the one of the greatest acts of rock and roll madness in history (almost) in a New Year trip to Dublin where I discovered the powerful pull that is a balloon. I turned - eek - 23 and felt quite grown up looking at art at the Baltic in Newcastle. DA turned - eek - 1 and I felt slightly less grown up enlisting some of DA's readers to write a blog for the occassion. I also thought that I might go insane if I watched Alice in Wonderland at the WYP one more time.

If this month had been a song it would have been: Anything from Alice in Wonderland.

Favourite live event: Dead Funny at the WYP - I didn't expect to love it, but I really did.

Memorable for: Yelling 'happy new year' in an eighties club in Dublin without an Irish man in sight.

If you just read one blog it should be: The Mounting of James Joyce. A huge blog for a huge event. And - feels pretty chuffed - I think it's rather well written. It makes me laugh anyway.


February:

I suspect I was a bit poor in February (see January for reasons why) as I spent quite a bit of time as an Admin Monkey. I also settled down to writing a new draft of The Four Right Chords, got the idea for my next play and was accepted on the WYP's 'So You Want To Be A Writer?' course. I saw the lovely Riccardi boys at my one and only trip to the Bedford this year and met the dinosaurs at the Natural History Museum. I gained a spectacular crush on John Barrowman and probably had cold.

If this month had been a song it would have been: 'One Of Those Days', Riccardi.

Favourite live event: Riccardi at the Bedford.

Memorable for: Accidentally non-stalking Kanye West.

If you just read one blog it should be: 'She Gets All Her Facts From The Latest Smash Hits' because you can't under estimate just how influential Smash Hits was on me.


March:

Fox had his West End debut in Movin' Out and of course I was there, complete with my own wardrobe malfunction. I got scared in the middle of nowhere on a trip to see Griffin and started the SYWTBAW? course, re-discovering my intellectual arrogance in the process. I tried to write a new play in two weeks and very nearly succeeded - even if it did almost kill me. I got down to the last two for a job at the WYP losing out to what I affectionately call the 'HMV effect'. More importantly, I decided that it was time to take the other Corinne to task.

If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Summer Highland Falls', James Fox.

Favourite live event: Movin Out, Apollo Victoria Theatre. Not every day that you get to go to a West End opening night.

Memorable for: Fox's 'London State of Mind' on opening night. In the West End. If you hadn't gathered.

If you just read one blog it should be: Depending on your preference either The Stars and The Gutter or West End State of Mind.


April:

I had my gig shoes on this month seeing the other Corinne, Kaiser Chiefs and Riccardi (with only the latter one, ironically, being in Leeds). I even managed a bit of a Beatles trail in Liverpool. The SYWTBAW? course culminated in a showcase which I nearly missed because of the state of Leeds buses and where my piece 'REM's Back Catalogue' actually got some laughs. Phew. I was interviewed for another job at the WYP which I didn't get. Oxford won the boat race, I won the Grand National and, even more triumphantly, I became a fully paid up member of the National Trust. I honestly didn't see that one coming.

If this month had been a song it would have been: 'You Can Have It All' Kaiser Chiefs.

Favourite live event: 'I Predict A Riot' Kaiser Chiefs, Birmingham NIA. Genius.

Memorable for: Ending up in a lock in - and arguing about Shakespeare - in a pub in Liverpool.

If you just read one blog it should be: Every Girl Needs A Mug With Her Name On or, just for how prophetic it turned out to be, Occupational Hazards.


May:

Much of May was devoted to either planning, thinking about, taking part in, blogging or coming down from Radio One's One Big Weekend in Dundee. There was karaoke with the Radio One Breakfast team, VIP wristbands and the nice toilets. There was also a bewildering array of bands and meeting Comedy Dave, one of my long term not-quite-a-secret crushes. I saw Snow Patrol and would have been quite happy to have died at that moment. Away from Dundee there was 'tablegate' at Griffin's Boro Gig, getting a little tipsy at the Thistle Hotel and the little matter of going to Paris for Nik's 21st. It's a hard life.

If this month had been a song it would have been: 'I've Had The Time Of My Life', Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes.

Favourite live event: 'You're All I Have', Snow Patrol, One Big Weekend.

Memorable for: Either yelling 'Daaaave' at Comedy Dave from the VIP gates, running around the Thistle bar at 4:30am in triumph or being escorted to the toilets during Nik's birthday dinner.

If you just read one blog it should be: I'd point you to all of the Dundee blogs but if I have to pick one out: "Put Sufjan Stephens on and we'll sing your favourite song"

June:

The sun shone, Bad Girls The Musical was in the theatre and I had the one year graduation panic. I attended feedback session for SYWTBAW? which thrilled and appalled me in almost equal measure and a writer's workshop which just left me somewhat bemused. It was the World Cup so I had a fantasy football team and Wimbledon so Tim Henman (almost) made me cry. Triumphantly (for now at least) I drew a line under my Admin Monkey days. And then there was the whole holding David Tennant's hand thing.

If this month had been a song it would have been: 'The Day We Caught The Train', Ocean Colour Scene.

Favourite live event: 'Why?', Griffin, Masham. "Good question".

Memorable for: Getting lost in Masham. The difficulty of this only being apparent if you know that Masham consists of two streets.

If you just read one blog it should be: First Stop: Regency England. Or if you're after something less facetious try School Reunion.

July:

England got knocked out of the World Cup and I summed it all up in one of my more articulate blogs. I started working on the WYP reception and got caught up in a bomb scare. I saw - and adored - Snow Patrol and PYFB, argued with Shed Seven's drummer and got rather drunk whilst watching Illyria's production of Pride and Prejudice. I started working at Kirkstall Abbey for the British Shakespeare Company where I was much taken with the rather attractive cast. And - sob sob sob - Dr Who reached its season finale.

If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Loving You' PYFB.

Favourite live event: 'Run' Snow Patrol, Leeds Millenium Square.

Memorable for: Being in the audience the day that PYFB's album got to number 3 and he got plastered on stage and took his top off.

If you just read one blog it should be: "I'm Still Dubious About The Buzzer". Laugh? I almost cried.


August:

My BSC adventure continued as I got rained on, had to remove people's pants from toilets and almost bled to death after cutting myself on a broken beer bottle. Perversely I loved it (not the pants bit because that was just skanky). There were cocktails for lunch, my pretending to be Juliet on the balcony and a wrap party which I wish I could remember more of. Then there was C - an actor with a book deal and an accent to die for. He probably should have come with a neon warning sign. Ah, well.

If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Chocolate' Snow Patrol.

Favourite live event: Griffin singing 'Bring It On' at the Purple Mountain acoustic night. How wonderfully retro.

Memorable for: I guess vomitting into a bin in a 4* hotel room (modesty covered by nothing other than a duvet) watched by C and Famous Actor's Son, whilst the actor playing Snug had a bath in the ensuite might just edge it for retrospective comedy value.

If you just read one blog it should be: "You have but slumber'd here/ While these visions did appear". A very special blog for lots of reasons, not least because it captures my feelings on the summer so perfectly. And should anyone be wondering then, yes, C is in the photo.


September:

I drunk rather a lot of cocktails this month. I swore about actors [see August]. I also had a playlist on my laptop that consisted of a high proportion of songs by Coldplay, David Gray and Damien Rice. Any conclusions drawn from this about my emotional state are probably fairly accurate. I went back to work at the WYP where - foolishly - I ended up with lots of newbies shadowing me and I tried not to teach them my bad habits. Away from work I dressed as a chav, got caught up in glamorous indie rock and roll and non-stalked My Richard at York Theatre Royal. Some things don't change after all.

If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Fix You' Coldplay.

Favourite live event: The Overwhelming, [Out of Joint], West Yorkshire Playhouse. One day I'd like to write a play which is as important as this.

Memorable for: Being filmed at silly o'clock in the morning whilst performing 'Semi Charmed Life', something which I hope will never see the light of day on YouTube.

If you just read one blog it should be: "I've Two Tickets To Mecca Bingo Baby" just for the bit where I got shushed. If you want to read something I will one day put into something fictional then it should be "And the waves broke on the shore"


October:

Officially the month of the gig, October saw me seeing Orson, Embrace and PYFB (twice). I adored Kneehigh's Cymbeline, was enchanted with the National Theatre of Scotland's Wolves in the Walls and wasn't quite as keen on Sheffield Crucible's The Caretaker, though the fact that I got to (almost) party with Nigel Harman made up for it. I was Duty Manager for the children's show 'Trouble' at the WYP, where I managed to get through 8 performances without anyone throwing up on me. This made me quite happy.

If this month had been a song it would have been: 'No Tomorrow' Orson.

Favourite live event: Difficult one but Embrace's 'Ashes' at Birmingham Academy probably just edges it, if only for their brilliant lighting.

Memorable for: Dancing through the streets of Newcastle to a snippet of 'No Tomorrow', complete with rock hands.

If you just read one blog it should be: "I got the movie script but don't know what it meant" . Ah, Nigel Harman's bottom.


November:

This month started with the unexpected - I went to a Lily Allen gig and actually enjoyed myself. It progressed through the slightly less unexpected as I fell head over heels in love with Alan Bennett's 'The History Boys' and developed actor crush of the year number 47 in the shape of Dominic Cooper. There was a birthday/ anniversary celebration at the Evil Eye where I drunk a lot of shots, showed my love for Harry McFly and subsequently ended up on a bathroom floor. And even though it felt like we'd just gotten rid of Alice, it was time to welcome The Wizard of Oz to the WYP.

If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Stargirl' McFly.

Favourite live event: The Duchess of Malfi, West Yorkshire Playhouse. Stunning in every way possible.

Memorable for: Sitting in our bed at the Evil Eye asking everyone if they knew McFly songs.

If you just read one blog it should be: "Read it now, learn it now and you'll know it whenever" - initially about 'The History Boys' but in reality about something much deeper.


December:

There was culture aplenty this month as I saw PYFB getting drunk and triumphing in Leeds, Judi Dench displaying the most perfect timing I have ever seen in the RSC's The Merry Wives of Windsor - The Musical and Griffin jumping out of a giant paper mache christmas pudding in the upstairs room of a pub in York. I think you could say some moments were more sublime than others. I had another interview at the WYP and this time I actually got the job, something I cemented by buying 'management clothing' and guaging which member of staff had the best reaction to the news. And then it was Christmas which meant three things: i)I'd get flu ii) there was a WYP Christmas Party and iii) that I'd want to hold David Tennant's hand in the Dr Who Christmas special.

If this month had been a song it would have been: 'Patience' Alistair Griffin.

Favourite live event: So, so difficult. Judi Dench's solo in Merry Wives will probably be the one I will never forget.

Memorable for: Either confusing lots and lots of people with the adventures of Mini David (Tennant) or dancing to a very drunken PYFB's version of 'Jenny Don't Be Hasty' with some of my favourite people in the world.

If you just read one blog it should be: It probably should be this one, but since you've already read it and I don't want you to go without, try Even Though It All Went Wrong

Thursday, December 28, 2006

As If More Proof Were Needed...

As If More Proof Were Needed...
Evidence 1:

"If you could go anywhere in the TARDIS where would you go?"

"I would have said to The Globe to see one of Shakespeare's plays being performed..."

Evidence 2:

[The Mighty Snow Patrol's 'Chasing Cars' finishes]

"I'm going to go out on a limb and say that's my favourite song of the year"

Verdict:

I'm sorry, but why are David Tennant and I not married yet?

Sunday, December 24, 2006

[Insert jazz hands here]

[Insert jazz hands here]

During my first shift at the WYP a woman fainted on me. In the last few months as I've ending up with people shadowing me I've told this story with abandon. Because it's a difficult one to beat (possibly only done so by the almost bomb evacution during my first shift on reception) and it does help put into perspective any problems encountered with the seating numbers.

This was undoubtedly the most dramatic thing that happened to me during these early shifts. Those weeks were full of not quite knowing my way round the maze of corridors, having a t-shirt that didn't quite fit and not quite fighting off the nagging feeling that it was wrong to be going to work when the rest of the bus queue were on their way home. I worked cloakroom lots, which I liked because of all the strange conversations it involved, and saw the second half of Twelfth Night 11 times whilst seeing the first half once. I wasn't quite as keen on this.

After those early weeks things settled down; I fell head over heels in love with My Mother Said I Never Should and working odd hours didn't bother me. I managed to try all the ice cream flavours. Somehow I didn't need to ask questions anymore. Eventually I started working with D, though he thought I wouldn't like him because of the Oxford thing. To this day he still mocks me about being a geek. Thankfully he mocks me for being a stalker more.

Then came the Christmas season and the endless performances of Alice in Wonderland. I moaned, but I loved it. I actually enjoyed spending Christmas week in a theatre, and the Boxing Day shift, with those increasingly familiar figures and increasingly excited children was rather wonderful.

Once Alice had shuffled off of the stage for the last time the intensity level changed but it was all so second nature now that it didn't matter. I became a Senior Attendant which meant I got to deal with broken headsets and dogs during the audio described performances and even got to stroke an actor or two during a touch tour. There was the emotionally incredible Trilogy Saturdays where, after nine hours of Shakespeare, I wanted to stand up and cheer.

There were latecomers, audience members who made me want to punch something, hours spent stock taking ice cream. There was vomit, malteasers stamped into the floor and a child's nose that exploded. There were shows I loved, shows I hated and a couple I just didn't understand. And then of course there was Bad Girls the Musical.

When the theatre went dark I trained on reception and managed to work out what a good 35% of the people in the building actually do. When the season started again it was with the realisation that I was no longer a newbie, something which I hadn't put my finger on before. I tried not to scare those shadowing me too much whilst trying to cultivate an air of Yoda like knowledge. In a couple of cases it worked. At least up until my penchant for the ice cream became obvious. Down to the one job I did what seemed like hundreds of shifts and worried everyone with my over-enthusiasm for spine tinglingly brilliant The Duchess of Malfi.

There was a sense in which the months from September onwards were almost a holding zone. I'd decided many months ago that I'd rather like to be Duty Manager, if only to have something concrete to answer all those enquiries as to when I was going to get a proper job. And long before it was supposed to be common knowledge that there was a job opening people started asking if I was going to apply. I didn't say it as blatantly, but of course I was. I'd settled it in my head.

So I applied. And - possibly on account of an amusing story or two - I got the job.

Two days later I did my last shift as an attendant and then returned my t-shirt. Or at least I would have if I'd remembered.

Many weeks ago, in a quite moment in the coffee shop because obviously I don't chat when I'm supposed to be working, History Boy and I had talked around applying for the job. History Boy had decided that he wouldn't because he'd miss being an attendant too much, I'd already decided that I'd be willing to give it up. It wasn't until I was knee deep in my first duty manager shift that I realised properly what he meant.

Because being an attendant at the WYP meant all that theatre, all those actors I got to heart. I got to read, to re-draft a play, once even to cry at theatre whilst being paid. It meant I could be talking about quantum mechanics and philosophical cats one minute and about reality tv and which actor missed a line the next. And I will miss that. Because now I've to retire to the office rather than the plush coffee shop sofas it's not going to be the same. This is not to say I'd take the decision back, I emphatically wouldn't as I feel the creeping familiarity and comfort enveloping me. I like shouting 'House Open'. I like writing show reports. Because I'm easily pleased I especially like having a WYP email address.

But I have loved being an attendant, I've met some fantastic people [even if some of them have made me feel old] and I know that if I had to do it again I wouldn't hesitate.

If there's a next time, though, I'd like to request a t-shirt in skinny fit if that's alright.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Now Might Be The Time To Worry

Now Might Be The Time To Worry

"Do you know what Director Boy said to me?"

"What?"

"He asked me if Corinne was a boy's name"

"Which it is"

"Yes - so I told him so, but spelt C-O-R-I-N"

"Exactly"

"And then he said that when he first met me and I spoke about Corinne he thought I was talking about my boyfriend"

"Your boyfriend?!"

"After that I didn't think it was the time to tell him about our pre-nuptial agreement"

Friday, December 22, 2006

25p From Every Phone Call Does Not Go To Charity

25p From Every Phone Call Does Not Go To Charity

If I've made a concerted effort not to drink at the Christmas Party [free glass of wine aside] then I can't say the same about not dancing. I've lost track of the number of songs that have made me grace the dancefloor - I've even persuaded D who, ironically given the fact that he actually can dance, never dances at parties to join me for 'You Sexy Thing'. Now I'm dancing with one of the attendants as we show off our not-quite-ready-for-Strictly-Come-Dancing moves.

"It was my aim of the night to get you to dance with me"

I feel a fleeting moment of panic. Humour over dancing with someone who is now his boss is fine. The possibility that I'm going to have to extricate myself from something else certainly isn't. He's drunk, but is there ever a polite way to do this?

I opt to stay quiet and hope this doesn't continue.

"My next aim is to get you to dance with [History Boy]"

In a flash my panic is replaced by something much more complex. I wasn't expecting this. Have the boys concocted some amusing tally of who can dance with the new Duty Manager?

"Why?"

"It would be good to see you in public as a couple"

My mouth starts to move but nothing manages to fall out. There's not a part of that sentence that I don't need explaining, not least the notion that in any sense are History Boy and I a "couple".

"WHAT?!"

"We decided..."

Oh good lord, there's a "we" in that sentence. How many people have decided this? Has there been a WYP vote or something? Has my life mutated into a reality tv show when I wasn't looking?

Thankfully the song changes and I move back into the larger group, studiously making sure I am nowhere near either my Former Dance Partner or History Boy lest I combust or, worse, start a whole new chain of rumours. I also suspect that I can take this gossip on the chin more than History Boy might - the perverse value of being talked about is something I can't entirely disregard, egomaniac and Northern Division member that I am, but not something which I imagine History Boy shares.

Several dances later, however, I've managed to shake off the nagging feeling. What is one throw away sentence after all? Nothing more than beer and the need to gossip speaking. I dance - or at least something that passes as such - with History Boy, because why not? That we share the fact that we both have at least one brain cell pointing in the right direction does not for a relationship make.

It's only when we're in North Bar a couple of hours later and out of the corner of my eye I catch my Former Dance Partner making heart signs that I feel uneasy. I don't intend to stop talking to History Boy - I'm an adult after all - but it's becoming slightly offputting as I attempt to silently stop the interest it seems to be creating without alerting History Boy to the circus which is beginning to surround us.

History Boy goes to the toilet and I take the opportunity it presents.

"What are you doing?"

Former Dance Partner smirks, raises an eyebrow and draws another heart sign.

"You and [History Boy]"

I'm aware now that the eight or so people around the table are now listening. A couple whisper things I really don't want to hear. Oh God - is everyone in on this?

"Why?"

The girl to my left who has come to the party with one of the other attendants and whose name I don't yet know takes up the baton.

"Because you've been flirting with him for hours".

This shocks me more than any of the other stuff. Not least because I hadn't been aware that I was flirting. Talking with my hands about Oxford and why we both miss it, yes. Flirting, no. Flirting was what I was doing with the man on the table behind us who offered me his Christmas pudding flavoured beer, not what I was doing with History Boy. Or at least not what I was aware of doing. And so I can't quite shake this off as easily as the earlier comments.

I'm still aware of it at kicking out time. There's a parade of hugs and kisses - even for Former Dance Partner, despite my disquiet, and for History Boy's friend who I met less than ten minutes earlier - whilst History Boy and I indulge in a particularly stilted form of goodbye that involves him brushing me on the back. Twice. Crap.

This morning I get a text: "Haha sorry for tryin [sic] to fix you up with [History Boy]. Good match though! :P".

It's strange but just this once I can't help wondering if my reality tv voters have seen something I haven't.

Scenes from a Christmas Party

Scenes from a Christmas Party

"You can't say anything, I've two shows to do tomorrow"

"Who do you think you are - Alice?"

"Alice?"

"Erm, Dorothy...I'm still in 2005"

"Dorothy hasn't drunk for two weeks"

"I should hope not - she's, what, 12?"
****

"Where are you going now?"

"I'm going home"

"Is that a new club?"
****
"Common People! Class - I feel like I'm a teenager again!"
[To blank looks]
"Crap - you're all thinking how old I am now"
****
"Which college did you go to?"
"St Anne's"
"Poor you"
"Don't insult us just because our buildings look like a 1960's carpark".
"I went to the most important college"
"Which one?"
"Loughborough".

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Even though it all went wrong

Even though it all went wrong

[To bikini clad girl] "I used to be a popstar..."

Because I do forget. I forget how you can make me hold my breath when you sing. I forget how much effort you put into your increasingly strange entrances and how endearing this is. I forget how funny you can be, usually when you're not trying. I don't forget everything that has happened, those heady days when I could say 'I once went two weeks without seeing Al', but I do forget their immediacy. I don't even call you Al any more. If people do ask - and ask they do, though with much less frequency these days - you're invariably Griffin. Griffin, that half fictional, half concocted character within the pages of this blog. Even when you were Al I never really knew you; just a facet, some half glimpsed moments, maybe like Margaret Atwood's Orpheus I could never see you as more than my own echo.

But Sunday night made me remember. I remembered because you remembered. And all that time when we'd pleaded to hear new songs, exploded in delight each time they appeared it's a time I can no longer quite touch. Maybe it will come again. Maybe it won't. On Sunday as you sang Oblivion - the first time in a year that I've heard you sing the song I defined you by for so long - it made my heart soar a little. And not just because it was the album track that Heat labelled 'the soaring Oblivion'. But because I don't want to wipe the past; those incredible first 12 months are very special to me. I'll remember them for the rest of my life. And 'Oblivion' was one of our songs, as we stood outside Wave FM in Blackpool and you choose it to be played for us and sang that final 'Here I Go Again!' it cemented its place.

I'm not sure when the last time I heard you talk about - or even refer to - the tortuous reality tv show. It feels so long ago. Another country. But do you know how cathartic it was to hear you sing of Daniel Beddingfield 'what rhymes with dickhead'? I could barely contain my excitement. Because it still makes me mad, even now. And I'm glad it does for you too.

Of course you weren't to know when you chose to sing 'Fix You' because of the fact it allowed you to lead into a Jimmy Saville joke that it's the song that reminds me of those days in September after C made his way across the atlantic back to his real life. You didn't know this anymore than you knew that 'Fields of Gold' was the song playing in the taxi on that long ago trip from the John Radcliffe hospital when you sat and sung it in Clapham so many months ago. I didn't cry this time - Waggo as Jimmy Saville would have put paid to that alone - but my delight at realising that you were to sing 'Fix You' proved what respect I still hold you in. For lots and lots of reasons, hearing you sing something which means a lot to me is very special. I hope it always will be.

Take That's 'Patience' didn't quite have the backstory but, heck, was it beautiful. 'Silent Suicide' - I could listen to it on repeat. And 'Feeling Alive' - as one of our group said, sometimes the old ones are the best.

Which brings me to 'Bring It On'. Is it really the last time you're going to sing it? If it is then it was an incredibly special performance to end on. One of the best. And for possibly the first time ever an acoustic version which had our 'come on' in it. I imagine you don't even remember where you originated it, how it stuck after that Top of the Pops appearance. That 'come on' has been everywhere with us. Screamed over backing tracks, bands and voices. Sometimes you even got it in the right place. And it marks something more. It marks that we were there. Something I suspect that you know as much as we do.

As we raised our arms in the air, that ever so traditional of dances that at one point everyone used to do, instictively re-creating the video, but which now seems to have slipped, a remnant of that other country, I felt that song as much as I ever have. It's shaded so many things. Giddy mind spinning excitement. Nerve shredding almost-terror. Brilliant rainbow coloured triumph. And quieter, more subtle but equally vivid emotions that I'll never be able to quite shake off. And I knew exactly what this time is about. What it may always be about.

Because, fuck, they got it wrong.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

'What The Fuck?' (Or 'the one where I wait for the hate mail')

'What The Fuck?' (Or 'the one where I wait for the hate mail')

*does finger to lips, shushing like we're in a library motion* "Can you not sing, I want to hear [Griffin]"

There's a moment when I do a little double check. Gayle and I exchange looks. Are we at the opera? At a musical? Has the upstairs room of the Independent turned into the Bedford without my noticing? But no, I'm at a gig.

I do a little mental recount of my favourite moments of the parade of gigs I've been to this year. 'No Tomorrow' in Newcastle, 'Ashes' in Birmingham, 'Run' in Millennium Square, 'You're All I Have' in Dundee, 'Final Request' in Coventry in a room barely bigger than this. And what unites these moments? The swell of the crowd, those disparate voices creating that soaring choir as the song verberates around the venue, singing the words back to where they came.

I don't even need to go that far. I can think back to the Clapham Grand and Griffin's Missing Miles concert, of the almost choir that even today flashes a memory of happiness across my retina. Because this is music, this is performance, this is how it should be. If you want perfection and silence, stay at home and listen to the CD.

And rather than silence I do the only thing I can do. I sing louder.

*Title copyright Gayle.

Impending Disaster

Impending Disaster

So I have a slight issue.

Thursday night is the WYP's Christmas Party. There are lots of things to commend this. I've been looking forward to it. It's something I should go to, what with the fact that I've just got a new job there and all (a new job that means I got asked questions about unions and pensions and all) and I should pop my head in if only to show that just because I've got my foot on the management ladder [ahem] I'm still down with the attendants and all that. That's of course if the fact that I just wrote "down with the attendants" alone doesn't mean that they will all hate me and pull faces behind my back. Plus I'll get a free drink and the opportunity to dance to crap music with theatrical people and it will be perfectly safe because all the actors are gay.

The slight flaw in the plan? The fact that I have to be at work for 9.00am the next day to work three shows that have the possibility of bringing me into contact with 1000+ haribo fuelled children.

And you just know that one of them will vomit.

For Future Reference [Part Two]

For Future Reference [Part Two]

"I've some bad news about Dominic"

Lots of things flash through my mind, stuff like him being an almost alcoholic, voting Tory or having any sort of connection to the CEO of Penguin*.

"You're not going to tell me he's gay?"

Because, let's face it, it's a possibility, what with him being an ac-tor and all.

"No...I asked Director Boy about him and he said...Dominic's dumb"

Lightning flashes, the polar ice caps melt and Dorothy's house falls on the witch.

"Dumb?"

If there was one thing I wasn't expecting this is it. He's a good actor. Good actor's can't be dumb. Emotional fuckwits yes**, dumb no.

"Yes"

There's a finality to this I can't fight, even though this isn't first hand, even though it's coming from Director Boy who thinks I'm going to turn power crazed. Because why would Director Boy lie?

"I guess that's it then"

And maybe it kind of is. Because I'm also assuming that Dom isn't on Director Boy's Christmas card list, thus scuppering my plans.

"That's what I said to Director Boy - you could have put up with him liking boys a bit, but dumb - he's got no chance"

Everyone laughs and as funny as it is, it's deeper than that.

It's true.

*The first two are pretty self explanatory but the Penguin thing? Let's just say I'm (almost) not quite as fond of Penguin as I was before the start of the summer.

**See first footnote. Though the Tory was actually a bad actor, thus proving that being an emotional fuckwit is no assurance of onstage talent and might even have a little to do with having incomplete DNA.

Unblogged Stories

Unblogged Stories

"A diary is undoubtedly a comfort. I feel better for having written it down, however hard the experience...What I do dislike is not having written anything for a while and then finding I have to catch up" Alan Bennett, Untold Stories.

So, whilst I want to thank everyone who asked where I was and if I was ok [which I am], just this once we'll agree I don't have to ok?