Monday, 28 November 2011

A cut above

I've wanted to curl up on the sofa all day and do nothing but watch telly, but ever since the briefest of brief celebratory lie-ins, I've been out and about in London. I've had various meetings about the Requiem, I've wandered around Soho with my brother and John, and this evening, we went to the press night of La Soirée, which has just started a short run at the Roundhouse. It's a kind of burlesque-meets-circus experience and it's really very good; a fabulous mix of laugh-out-loud slapstick and awe-inspiring and often quite moving trapeze and balancing acts. Throw in a few songs performed by an enormous black drag queen, add a bit of sparkle from a hoola-hooper, and you have a show which is well-worth seeing.

I'm still in a bit of a haze after yesterday. I'm thrilled that things went so well, although I've been told off by a number of people for being so self-deprecating in my little talks between numbers. I'm not really one for banging my own drum, and stories of disaster and failure are surely always more interesting and amusing than someone saying "and then I won 3 RTS awards and was invited to play the 'cello in front of the queen." 

The truth is that I'm utterly proud of all the music I write, I think it sounds bloomin' lovely, but it's more interesting when heard in context. The musical Blast for example, from which many of the songs we performed came from, has never been performed, which can hardly be described as successful, and much of the music I wrote in the early days came out of a place of genuine struggle.

I'd much rather an audience be astonished by the quality of a body of work which has essentially been ignored, than bored to tears by a man patting himself on the back for his far more successful forays into film and TV! Maybe I'm just way too English...

I've just opened a card which came from Meriel, Tanya, Hilary, Fiona and Meriel with a cheque inside, which has turned me into a quivering wreck. I am a lucky, lucky 
man with extraordinary friends. I've no idea what I've done to garner such an astonishing amount of love and generosity, but I feel blessed. Actually blessed. 

350 years ago the Pepyses took delivery of a new maid, one Sarah, who was tall and "very well favoured", but not destined to last very long as a servant in Seething Lane. Elizabeth seemed to argue very badly with all of her wenches. I think she'd suddenly started viewing herself as a cut above the rest... 

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