Saturday, 23 August 2014

Gladys Stumps

...And so the audiences finally picked up for Brass this evening after a fairly disastrously attended matinee which probably upset the cast a little. A cast needs a good-sized audience to keep things chugging along at a decent pace. Laughter, applause and a sea of engaged faces are vital.

I think it's a shame that more performing arts students from Yorkshire haven't seen the show. I'm also disappointed that members of Yorkshire-based brass bands haven't bothered to come, despite being told about the show. Our audiences have been almost universally on the older spectrum. Certain slightly bluer jokes are falling flat because they're going entirely over their collective heads. And very few audience members are tweeting their thoughts about the show afterwards. This seems so odd to me. Our wedding generated 12,000 tweets in the single hour it was broadcasted, so to go from that to one or two feels rather odd.

That said, audiences are being torn apart by the piece. Many people seek me out afterwards, often openly weeping, to tell me what an astonishing tribute it is to the people of Leeds, and today a gentleman from Germany sidled over to tell me he'd come all the way from Berlin to see the show based on his love of my films. Apparently he started following me in 2005 when I made Hampstead Heath: The musical. I was remarkably touched. I was also reacquainted with some of the performers from A Symphony for Yorkshire which felt very lovely.

The cast are getting better and better and hit their stride for the first time tonight in a quite remarkable way. There is not a weak link amongst them. Today I decided to pay particular attention to the ensemble cast members and saw nothing but genuine commitment and exquisite acting. Hats off to Matthew Eliot Ripley, who moved me very greatly in the Letters sequence.

I also learned today that the remarkable Emma Barry hasn't been credited in the programme as Gladys Stumps, the pianist in the pit who accompanies the first five minutes of the show. Emma also played piano for a lot of my one-on-one rehearsals, so if anyone reading this needs the services of a highly competent pianist/ MD/ actor/ singer, get in touch and I'll sling her in your direction. I see it as a failure on my part that I failed to notice this over sight when proof-reading the programme. Sometimes theatre people become so obsessed with protecting their own egos that they fail to notice the enormous dents they're making in other people's!

Right. It's too late to be writing. Have a happy night and if you're reading this from somewhere near to Leeds, there are still a couple of tickets left... SO COME!! It will change your life. Honest!

1 comment:

  1. very beautiful performance last night ,had us all in tears ,so lovely to see the people there ,back home in Wales now with lovely memories ,