Sunday, 24 August 2014

Burst bubble

I'm back in London feeling a little like the bubble I've been floating around in since I got married has finally burst! Nathan and I are both full of some kind of gastric bug, I feel a bit hungover and exhausted and I can't wait to get into a bed which doesn't fold up around me like some kind of sandwich toaster.

I'm not at all happy that Brass is over! I would cheerfully have stayed in Leeds for another week to watch the show growing. Enough people with enough clout have now said enough wonderful things about the show for me to be sure that a few London performances with the same cast would turn into something quite special.

Of course the Yorkshire bods are also climbing out of the woodwork, and waking up to what they largely missed, which I find both frustrating and rather unsurprising. The sad truth of our industry - and those with the power to promote it - is that someone else's idea is never going to be something you want to get behind in any meaningful way. That is, if course, until you can ignore it no longer and people begin to ask why they weren't told about it. For this reason, regional BBC stations often struggle to get the backing of the local press. It's possibly also why I've only just received a slew of emails from people suggesting how Brass, or elements therein, might play a lovely part in something they are planning in 2016.  Of course this is all fabulous stuff. I just wish Brass hadn't had to prove itself first!

I had lunch with my family and honorary godfather in a swanky hotel outside Leeds where we were served the most astonishingly bland potato soup and bread rolls which tasted of old saucepans. Fairly unacceptable in my view, but the limitations of the food was more than made up for by the company. It was lovely to see the family and talk to them about Brass and our impending honeymoon, which, it seems, my brother, brother-in-law and godfather are all going to be part of! Philippa, Matt Flint and Sara K came on the mini-break we had directly after the wedding, so why break the habit of a lifetime?

We drove home along the A1, and, at the Blythe roundabout, I remembered that Janet Wood, who sang such a poignant role in A1: The Road Musical had been in the audience for Brass the night before. It was a delight to see her. For those who know my A1 film, Janet is the extraordinary lady who sings about a terrible road accident which left her trapped in an upside down car. We filmed her sequence in a scrap yard by the side of the road, and she sang inside a wrecked car which looked so much like the car she's been in, she had to check the registration plate!

To see her sequence of the film, go to the following link and click on the word Grantham.

We stopped off near Huntingdon to see Lisa and Mark and their extended family. They'd just had the mother of all dramas in the South of France with Lisa being rushed to hospital with chest pains. She's absolutely fine, but missed her flight home and had to stay an extra night over there.

Nathan's goddaughter, Poppy had set up a beauty parlour in the bathroom and in turn all the men present were taken in and royally pampered. Nathan came out looking like a glitter ball, and when my turn came, I was told the concept was Snow White, and that I needed to look "really pretty." I was bedecked in perfumes and lotions, talcum powder and lipstick and I was instructed to put a wig on! I ended up looking like Glen Close in Dangerous Liaisons dragged behind a car on a rope for twenty minutes and then covered in day glow fabrics! Priceless.


  1. Sad to have missed Brass, I would have loved to have come up and seen it but have been soo busy here. I did send my mother in law, who I believe gave you a tea-towel?! and was gushing about you, Nathan and show.
    Meanwhile, where are the pics to accompany this blog post - I want to see Snow White/Glen Close

  2. I came to see Brass on Saturday night with my friend Janet Wood. I was sad and amazed to read on your blog that other performances were poorly attended. But for Janet, I would not have known about Brass - I am quite a culture-vulture living in Leeds, especially for anything choral, and on all kinds of mailing lists, but this show was just not promoted well enough. All three of us who came with Janet thought it was absolutely stunning, your fantastic writing and music was brilliantly realised by the amazing young actors/singers and creative team. It should definitely go to the West End, it is superior to much of what is shown there. I have also been listening to your Requiem CD, and am now definitely in your fan club!

  3. Thanks so much for the mention Benjamin - what a lovely way to document that project! Very fond memories, a lifetime away it seems. Talking to anyone who will listen about how amazing Brass is. Was great to see you again and to meet Nathan. I feel I will always know you, which makes me very happy.