Saturday, 4 May 2013

Much ado

I am back at the RAF base in Corsham, rehearsing Much Ado About Nothing with members of the RAF theatre association. 

We're staying on the base overnight in curious little wooden chalets; single beds, the works. The whole place reminds me of a scene from Hi-de-hi. All we need now is a tragic bubble-permed maid with bright orange plastic glasses to burst into song. "We're starting together..." 

This particular complex is in the middle of a wood, and the grounds are littered with squirrels, rabbits, blossom trees, flowers and all sorts of rural loveliness. It's apparently almost deathly silent and pitch black at night. Hugely atmospheric. I can't wait.

The amazing hall in the middle of the camp is straight from the 1950s, with a beautifully equipped stage (complete with old-fashioned footlights)  and a pop-up skittles alley which emerges from the wooden floor.

We've just had a mini-sports day on the green outside which included obstacle and space hopper races. Many of the company dressed up in school uniforms and luminous "118-118" sports kits. (I am surrounded by absolute nutters!) The sun was setting and everything was like a scene straight out of my childhood. It was 1983 again and I was in 
Badby Woods, some time around my birthday. It may even have been the evening of my birthday. There was a similar light, a soft, dusty smell, and I was proudly wearing luminous socks. One pink. One yellow. 

I feel rather privileged to be here. We're now back in the hall playing all sorts of wooden board games. I think the people around me are going to get very pissed indeed! I just won the furry darts competition.

I've written two songs for the production we're rehearsing; a setting of Sigh No More and a choral sequence for the lament at the end of the play. I'm particularly proud of Sigh No More, which came alive when sung by the cast. It sounded so lovely, in fact, that it made the director cry. Hurrah! 

This month would appear to be the month of my music; Pepys, Four Colours, Much Ado, White City... By the end of the month I'll have recorded over an hour's worth of music, which is an extraordinary thought. 

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