Friday, 10 April 2015

Sevenoaks

I'm exhausted. We're all exhausted. We're currently at Julie's house, lying in a bit of a heap, having a competition to see who's the most exhausted...

My day started in Victoria with young Harry from the Brass pit band. Harry played flugelhorn and trumpet in the show and on the cast recording. We walked down Victoria Street, sat on a little grassy knoll opposite Westminster Abbey and ate dry muffins and drank tea in the glorious sunshine. We talked about everything; musical theatre, trans-awareness, film casting... At one point there was a tiny flurry of rain which neither of us commented on!

I rushed home to Highgate, flung some things in a bag, jumped in the car and then drove to Seven Oaks in Kent to see how this year's NYMT rehearsals were getting on. The three productions the company are staging this year are Pendragon, Sweet Charity and Prodigy, by Pippa and Jake, which is this year's new commission.

A smattering of the Brass cast are doing shows this year and it was just wonderful to see them all again. We sat with Jeremy in the great hall and listened to some of the rough mixes from the Brass cast recording at top volume on a stereo. It wasn't the best system to hear it on - it was very bass heavy, and not very clear - but everyone seemed to enjoy it, and there was a tangible sense of excitement about what they'd all achieved. It's going to be an incredible album.

I had tea at the school for old time's sake; pasta and my second muffin of the day. All the cast are at such an exciting time in their lives. They've either just started colleges or are off to drama schools and universities. A huge number of them seem to be going to Trinity Laban.

After tea, I drove with Jeremy, through the most beautiful countryside to Tonbridge School, where the NYMT is rehearsing Pendragon. I was there mostly to see the adorable Anne- Marie, who is the costumier for the company, and Ben Jones, now Mabberley, who played Alf in Brass. It was particularly good to see him. I understand he has a very large role in Pendragon, but all I got to see him doing was lifting a sword dramatically! They were rehearing a scene with witches when I arrived, who seemed to be singing a setting of Adam Lay Y Bounden.

I drove from Tonbridge to Catford where we ate toast and more pasta with Julie, Bal, Nathan and Abbie.

We're up hugely early in the morning, so sleep is of the essence...

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