Thursday, 11 June 2015

Moorfields and Mountview

I'm writing this blog from the A and E Department at Moorfields Eye Hospital. There seems to be a huge number of people in the waiting room. I could be here for some time...

There's nothing to worry about, I'm sure. I think I might have some grit or glass in my eye, or some kind of infection in the eye lid. Basically there's a pain in the lower left hand side of my left eye, and because it's getting worse I've decided to try and nip it in the bud. It's always difficult to know where to go with eye problems. A GP will either tell you to go away for two weeks and come back if the pain hasn't subsided, or he'll refer you to an eye specialist. An optician would doubtless charge silly money to give you a quick once over.

It turns out the one place NEVER to go with an eye problem is the A and E department of Moorfields Eye Hospital.

The waiting time was five hours! Five flippin' hours! The waiting room itself was packed out, and boiling hot like a terrible sauna, the triage nurse was next to useless and flicked a cheap plastic torch across my eye (the sort you might find in Halfords). He proceeded to write a zero on my form and sent me packing without offering any sense of what might have been wrong. So basically, we decided to go home. Nothing is painful enough to need to be remedied by that dreadful, dreadful, Third World sort of a place.
It's been another busy day which started in a Pret A Manger in Bond Street, where we met Cat and Uncle Archie before heading to an agent's offices where we interviewed a director for the project we're doing in the second half of the year. I wish I could say more, but that's the nature of a top secret project!

We went from Bond Street to Piccadilly to see our friend Emma Fraser performing in her Mountview drama school agents' showcase at the Criterion. Mountview aren't my favourite drama school at the moment, despite my being an alumnus. They've turned down some of the more extraordinary performers from the Brass cast, which seems rather short-sighted, particularly considering the mediocre standard of many of the kids who were on the stage today.

I'm proud (and greatly relieved) to say that Emma shone. She played sax. She sang beautifully. She got laughs. She acted well. I overheard people talking about her in glowing terms... Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick.

Many of the other performers were, well, just a little bit unremarkable. There were far too many songs performed in cod, rather nasal American accents for my liking. There were no book scenes. Just song after song sung in that generic "off Broadway" manner, which prevented many of the performers from standing out. I see it every time I go to a cabaret. The cookie American accent gets dusted off and, as a result, there's an immediate disconnect with the material. I take it for granted that all actors can sing in an American accent. I want to be presented with something I'm not expecting when I go to a showcase. There was no grit. Nothing edgy. I didn't hear a single regional accent. Just blandness, really. If that were an audition, I'd have written NFM (not for me) at the top of pretty much every page. I was hugely disappointed. 

...apart from with Emma, who was wonderful. And if I'm honest there were at least two or three others who did themselves proud, so it wasn't a complete wash out!

We walked from Piccadilly to Oxford Circus to drop off some CDs at the BBC before walking to Covent Garden to pick up my computer from the Apple Store. I was rather impressed by the speed with which they dealt with the repair and the handover of the repaired machine (which has a replacement screen.)

We came home and I went to the gym before settling down to do some more work on the synopsis of Em.

And then my eye started hurting a lot, so we went to Moorfields, had the horrible experience I've outlined at the start of the blog, discharged ourselves and came home feeling annoyed with ourselves for going on such a wasted journey.

Moorfields: sort yourselves out. You're a dreadful shambles.





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