Yesterday’s premier was hugely enjoyable. It happened at the Sage in Gateshead, and all the cast and crew were there. I hope everyone feels as proud of the film as I do. There was certainly a wonderful buzz in the space; a real sense that everyone had shared something very special, which had united people and changed one or two lives forever.
I went out with some of the cast afterwards. We did karaoke in a gay bar. I drank gin and tonic and sang ABBA. The Head of the BBC Northern Region was seen singing Don't Go Breaking My Heart with a female news presenter. Nathan did a catwheel in the street and pulled a muscle before singing River Deep Mountain High in Tina Turner's vocal register! Someone was crying into a bottle of wine. Some of the girls who came out with us were too young to drink alcohol. Just a usual night out on the streets of Newcastle, really...
The mayhem of karaoke
I went into the BBC this morning and they were playing the song on the radio, which felt rather peculiar. It was even stranger to hear people whistling along! It was Alistair’s last day today. He’s been in Newcastle for the last 18 months, and they gave him a wonderful send-off, which involved cup cakes, banners, and the most brilliantly put together spoof radio documentary, which had been lovingly made by all his friends at the station.
We drove through central Newcastle on our way home. Just as we hit the banks of the Tyne, the sun came out from behind a cloud, and lit all the beautiful bridges, which I've jogged and walked over so many times. I now fully understand why the North-Eastern folk see them and realise they've come home. I felt incredibly sad to be heading south.
The film we made is now up on You Tube. You can see it here. Do say nice things!
We all kid ourselves that reviews don’t matter, but I don’t know many creative people who don’t avidly read what people are saying. Sadly, the first few comments that have been made are fairly negative, including one rather bizarre comment which says; “this isn’t a true representation of a journey on the Metro.” No love, it’s a musical! These types of films have to be taken with a pinch of salt. No one’s trying to change the world with them. They’re simply a tongue-in-cheek celebration of a community on a particular date. I would have expected the Geordies to understand that; humour being such a major part of the lifestyle up there.
March 25th, 1661, and Pepys, yet again, had the builders in; this time rustling up a set of stairs leading out of his parlour, no doubt for grand entrances. More mess. Poor Elizabeth.
Pepys was visited by the painter, Mr Salisbury, after dinner, who came to show him some miniatures he’d been working on. Pepys was impressed, “indeed I perceive that he will be a great master.” He took him to Whitehall after their meeting. They went by river, but Salisbury was too scared to go through the rapids under London Bridge, so the pair were forced to disembark, and get on again once the boat had been steered through. Pepys was obviously a little more gung ho than his painter friend.
There was a visit to his (socially acceptable) cousin, Jane Turner, whose husband was in a “chafe” (what a great word) because he’d been let down by someone who’d promised him a room he could hire to stand in and watch the Coronation Parade.
It was late by the time Pepys returned home. He met a young boy with a lantern who was picking up rags and Pepys asked him to guide him through the darkened streets. They chatted merrily as they walked home. Pepys discovered that the lad could sometimes get three or four bushels of rags in a day, which could make up to 10d. They discussed how many ways there were for poor children to make an honest living. One thing I’ll say for Pepys; he may have been developing something of a hoity toity disposition, but he was still, deep down, a man of the people.