Thursday, 24 July 2014


About ten minutes ago I finally sent off the last orchestration from Brass. I then sent off my programme notes, the final draft of the script, a head shot and biog, so, give or take the odd bit of underscoring and a piece of play-out music, Brass is complete. It feels so strange to be done. All those hours of orchestration... Done! I can now enjoy the two weeks before rehearsals start. The weather is set to be lovely and warm. I can visit places, and celebrate my birthday, and lie-in and relax and book myself a massage...

To celebrate this extraordinary mile-stone, Nathan and I took ourselves down to the Rose theatre in Kingston to watch the first of the NYMT's three summer shows, The Ragged Child. It was a little unnerving to see a show from the same season as Brass being performed, knowing that Brass has only just been written!

The NYMT have been performing The Ragged Child for more than 20 years. It's a well-oiled machine and perfect fodder for the company because it's written for an epically large cast, all of whom get a little moment to shine. It's also chock full of roles for very young kids; the kids we couldn't even contemplate for Brass.

I had a vested interest in one of the members of the cast, the talented Jack Reitman, who is coming into our cast to replace another Jack who had to pull out. New Jack was playing a character called Jack in The Ragged Child, which in my book is too many Jacks! Still, there will never be as many Jacks on Brass as there are Bens. I still think it's astonishing to have a leading man, a composer, an MD, a chaperone and a stage manager all with the same name!

We opted to drive to Kingston in rush hour traffic, which in retrospect was something of a mistake. Fortunately the show went up late, so we didn't miss anything by arriving considerably late!

In the car park after the show, we saw an urban fox. He didn't seem at all worried that we were there, and stared at us for some time before casually trotting away. He was a scrawny beast, however, with no hair whatsoever on his tail! As a result he looked more like a jackal or something.

Urban foxes are curious creatures... So much more muted in colour than their rural cousins. I remember seeing foxes in my childhood which were deep red with incredibly shiny coats... The ones we see in London are so pale, they're almost yellow.

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