Friday, 4 December 2015


It's been a bit of a frustrating day, if I'm honest. We were meant to be finishing off a draft of the script, but Nathan had a morning gig which over-ran catastrophically. When he got home there were admin emails to send, which took far too long to write, and so we only managed a couple of hours at the end of the day, and, as a result, missed a deadline for the first time on this project.

Add to this the somewhat unnecessary and aggressive ramblings of a woman who took offence to my Facebook post about women last night. It was actually fair enough. I'd chosen the wrong words to describe what I was looking for, but instead of politely telling me, she went in throwing muck about, telling my friends who were posting anecdotes that they ought to feel ashamed of themselves for saying how embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions could be. Worrying about showing your breasts in public is apparently reenforcing male attitudes. It probably is, but she was so aggressive and bullying that several of my friends who wanted to add something to the thread emailed me instead to say they were too frightened to post anything for fear of what she'd say! I think, when the conversation turned to the fact that women have it far worse in life than gay people, and that gay people only suffer abuse because they're perceived to be more feminine than men, I started to lose patience. When she started moaning that white men were the only "acceptable" face of the LGBT movement, I lost my rag. How dare she undermine the work of people like Peter Tatchell who was regularly beaten up for making a stand? Emmline Pankhurst's work was not undermined by the colour of her skin!

It has never been illegal for gay women to be gay and therefore gay women have historically been far more likely to attach themselves to the feminist agenda. Fact. I don't have a problem with this, I just feel it's important to note that gay men were right at the forefront of that particular fight and it wasn't until relatively recently that larger numbers of women started to fight as well.

The trouble with some "feminists" is that they don't seem to think that we all have to live on this planet together. Jumping down the throats of men like me who have never believed in anything but true equality is so far off the mark it's laughable. I only have about three male friends. All my friends are female. They always have been. She called me weird. She even inferred that, as a man, I shouldn't try to write about women. It was like she didn't realise she was saying all of this to a captive audience of my friends and seemed genuinely surprised when they started to defend me. I guess, in her world, women are supposed to gang up on men out of solidarity. It was a shame, because behind the bluster and the insults, she was actually saying some very sensible things. But she managed to alienate everyone.

I took myself to Brent Cross this morning to buy some shirts. Sometimes I look in a mirror and realise I've turned into a tramp, and the older I get, the less acceptable the boho chic look becomes! I've often found clothes shopping a bit of an unjustifiable waste of money, so when I'm finally forced to bite the bullet, I go a little crazy.

...And so I bought five shirts. The woman in the shop told me is was almost cheaper to buy the five in her special offer than it was to buy the three I wanted, so I panic-grabbed two more! I think she did me a favour. The five shirts only cost £100 and hopefully I can avoid buying more for another five years!

Anyway, all of this footle prevented me from doing more writing, which is bad because rehearsals for our show start in a month and we still have six songs to write. Then I have to orchestrate everything we've done. I'd also like to spend some time actually thinking about the numbers rather than throwing notes onto a page and hoping they'll stick.

In all of this, the search for useable melodies from the computer systems is the most painful process. I think those who have asked us to do this experiment sometimes forget that finding a tune which works as music is only the first stage in the journey. Next it has to have the right feel for the song we're writing. Then it has to fit the words. One of the major issues with musical theatre is that it thrives on pastiche. You don't just get up tempo numbers and ballads, sometimes you need a sleazy jazzy number, or a Disneyesque whistle chorus or a gospel number or a tango. And only certain melodies are versatile enough to have these different feels. So, if one out of every fifty computer melodies has promise musically, imagine how the odds shrink when all the other processes come in? I reckon we're actually only able to use one melody in every 100, which is insane.

Still, we continue with the insanity! It's a brilliant project. And there's genuine jeopardy in spades for the TV documentary!

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