Sunday, 23 August 2015

The rhythms of life!

We're on our way back from Leicester where we've been watching the NYMT's production of Sweet Charity at the Curve Theatre. It was a lovely show. The band, some of whom played in Brass, were absolutely astounding. I genuinely think they were as good, if not even better, than a West End pit band. From the first chord, I entirely forgot that I wasn't listening to adult seasoned pros.

There were some stand out performances in the cast as well. Obviously I felt a great deal of paternal pride for the two remarkable cast members who'd been in Brass (Robin and Ruby) but props have to go to the young lad who played Herman, who chaînés débouléd his way across the stage at one point like Baryshnikov on acid, and a young lass called Florence in the ensemble, who I've been keeping my eye on for a couple of years since she auditioned as fifteen year old for Brass. If you want to know how much commitment and finesse is required for an ensemble track in a musical, look no further than what she was doing tonight.

Sweet Charity is an odd show, which is not entirely successful. On one hand it features some of the musical theatre canon's greatest ever songs (The Rhythm of Life, Hey Big Spender...) but on the other, the book is relatively weak. It's a rather light, fluffy piece which is has a somewhat unsatisfactory ending. To make matters worse, a number of the songs feel a little crow-barred into the plot, which drives me mad in musical theatre!

We spent the afternoon in Cambridge, which was probably the hottest place on earth today. My parents very kindly took us out for a fancy, highly-filling pub lunch along the Cam in Grantchester. Brother Edward and Sascha joined us, and after eating, we took ourselves off to the Orchard and sat under the laden apple trees eating a cream tea. I love that place. I'm a sucker for the Bloomsbury set and love the thought that the likes of Virginia Woolf and Rupert Brooke would have wiled away long Edwardian summer days underneath those very trees. Just perfect.

We walked back to the car across Grantchester Meadows, which was like something from a Seurat painting in the late afternoon dappled sunlight. Scores of people were picnicking on the grassy banks of the Cam and more were bathing in the water. Just as they've done for hundreds of years... Just as I've done so many times in the past.

We're staying with Lisa and Mark tonight; a last-minute decision brought about by a last-minute decision to pop in on them for five minutes on our way from Cambridge to Leicester!

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