Monday, 7 October 2013


I worked like mad today to get all the remaining parts delivered to the singers of the Pepys Motet. I felt like a machine, generating scores and individual, specially-tailored learning files for 20 singers. It's not taxing work, but, when sending them off, it's all-too easy to make mistakes.

Fiona stayed with us last night, so we went down to the cafe to work together. I got project envy. She's currently composing and arranging music for string orchestra and percussion, which is just about my favourite line-up of instruments. In fact, I sometimes wonder why anyone bothers to score music for anything else!

I reached a natural hiatus in my list of things to do this week, and have made the brave decision to travel into town without taking work to do on the tube. This is incredibly rare and I'm blogging because I don't know what else to do with my hands!

I'm meeting Nathan and Julie to see a play called "The Pride". These gay plays tend to be given the least imaginative titles, don't they? I reckon you can spot any "gay" play from its title alone; "Bent" "La Cage" "Torch Song Trilogy" "Blowing Whistles" "Edward II" (well, alright, that last one was the exception which proves the rule; "Sandy II" would have more eloquently given the game away!)

Isn't it amazing how fashions come back around? Out of the ten men currently sitting on my carriage, eight have what I'd describe as a World War One hair cut; the short back and sides" with low parting. Men's fashions seem to almost continually return to this old standard, largely because it's genuinely the neatest and most flattering cut of them all. I welcome it with open arms and would have it myself if my hair weren't a curly mop.

When I used to do film casting, the young lads would arrive looking like they'd been dragged through hedges made of hair straighteners. A clump here, a wedge there, a big block dragged across the forehead or cheek to disguise the actual shape of the face. I used to go into castings with a big pot of Brylcreem, beckoning for the young, fashion-conscious actors to come to me before they read to have their damaged, straw-like hair scraped out of their eyes.

I'm actually wondering if there's some sort of connection between the fashion for "short back and sides" and people emerging from recession with a work-like attitude, but perhaps I'm taking things a bit far!

It's 11pm and we've just watched The Pride at the Trafalgar Studios. It's a long time since I saw such fine words spoken by such genuinely excellent actors. I felt privileged to be in the audience.

The piece tells the story of a love triangle - two men and a women - in the present day and in the 1950s. The characters share the same names in both eras, one assumes they're representations of the same "sorts" of people, with similar passions and similar battles trying to move forward within two contrasting eras. Whilst the ghosts of the past and future hovered in the ether. It was particularly interesting to see the female role moving from a woman in a loveless marriage to a gay man in the 50s becoming a sort of fag hag in 2012 who almost needs to "break up" with her gay best fiend in order to give love a chance with a legitimate boyfriend. Fascinating stuff.

Rather beautifully, as they actors, who included Gavin and Stacey's Matthew Horne, arrived for their second bow, they whipped out little rainbow flags which simply read "From Russia With Love" on them. A more impressive, yet subtle show of solidarity it would be hard to find.

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