Friday, 12 February 2016

Directing traffic

We've just spent the last thirty minutes directing traffic on the Archway Road. Half the road has been dug up and the temporary lights at the cross roads outside our house have broken. We exited the tube to a scene of absolute carnage. There was a massive traffic jam and everyone was beeping their horns. The scene suddenly started to get really dangerous and we witnessed three or so near head-on collisions. We called the police. They told us the problem had been reported by many people and that they were trying to get "someone down." A couple of near crashes later, Nathan and I were on the phone to each other from different ends of the street, managing the traffic and risking our lives in the process. People in these instances can be absolute bastards. I'd rush out into the road, stop a car, tell Nathan he could let his stream of traffic go, and then some impatient dick splat behind the car I'd stopped would pull out and screech off whilst I screamed down the phone to Nathan that he needed to stop his traffic again.

It was exhilarating and terrifying. We were shouting at passers by to call the police and explain to them that members of the public were trying to prevent traffic mayhem... We were, however, very successful and kept the traffic moving well for at least half an hour.

Eventually two utterly hapless coppers arrived. They passively watched on as we continued to stop the traffic and spent some time trying to work out who was responsible for the lights. Eventually I asked them if they might relieve Nathan from his duties at the other end of the road. "Lights go down in London all the time. We don't ask members of the public to risk their lives trying to be heroes." With that, he wandered off, and I wondered why I'd bothered.

It's been a long old day, which started in Pimlico under headphones. I finished my last arrangement at 2pm, just after doing a live interview on Radio Northampton about the importance of the arts and before the cast did their first full run of the show.

The run was great. The show really hangs together and was in much better shape than I'd expected. Luke and Candida have done some wonderful staging.

At some point in the morning we had a bit of fun. We have been banned from using three typically 1980s politically incorrect terms in the show which the documentary programme makers consider offensive by today's standards. For the record those three words are flid, spaz and spastic. I took to Facebook to find less offensive alternatives and was besieged by wonderful suggestions which took everyone reading right back to the good old days of our childhood:

Benny, Spanner, Mecon, Spam, Prannie, Boff, Tube, Twonk, Dipstick,
Wally, Tool, Toss pot... The phase itchy chin seemed to excite a lot of people!

I got the actress who utters the insults in the show to read out the list of alternatives to the rest of the cast to see which ones generated the most laughter. The winners were: Der-brain, Plank and Slap Head.

We rushed from Pimlico to King's Cross to rehearse the band in an exhausting and gruelling session. God there's a lot to do... And a lot of notes to polish before our sitz probe on Saturday.

And here we are in front of Ru Paul, falling asleep...

Night night.

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