Sunday, 28 February 2016

Rally

This morning Nathan and I were up with the lark, and being bundled into a taxi to Isleworth where we'd been invited to talk on Sky News' breakfast show. We were the final interview of the morning, and sat in make-up whilst last year's British Eurovision hopeful talked about the two lads who have been selected to represent Royaume Uni this year. The song was chosen last night. I haven't yet heard it but have been told that Brother Edward and Sascha were in the front row of the selection show.

We were interviewed by a lovely chap from Cumbria with a blingy taste in rings which felt rather incongruous for a newsreader in a suit and tie. We exited into the cold morning light covered in foundation and looking like wax works. Why do they put make up on blokes? A bit of powder on the shiny bits is surely enough.

We were deposited back in Highgate, had breakfast in the local spoon, and then made our way into town to attend the anti-trident march, which started at Marble Arch. I was instantly taken back to my childhood as we walked through the streets waving our placards. The chants have changed. When I last marched against nuclear missiles, we shouted "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie. Out, out, out!" I felt proud to be there today. 34 years on. Still flying the flag. There must have been 20,000 people there. Maybe more. To me it was astonishing that such a huge anti-nuclear demonstration coincided with Beyond The Fence. If only the producers of our show had thought to invite some CND supporters along.


I made the mistake of reading one of our reviews today. It was passable, but, as I predicted, did what all reviewers of new musicals do and predicted that the music we'd written wouldn't stand the test of time. I don't really know why reviewers bother to comment on music they're hearing for the first time. Surely no one can accurately predict whether a song will have longevity based on one hearing. I'm also going to get rather bored of the typical "anti-computer" response which inevitably leads to the cast being praised for breathing emotion into emotionless material. Dull. I'll read no more!

There were two shows today and lots of our friends and family were in. Too many to mention. The matinee was a good clean performance. The audience were very quiet and polite, but then went crazy at the end. Lots stood. There was a huge amount of cheering.

We had tea with Nathan's family, Tina, Uncle Bill and Mezza and then returned to the theatre for the evening show. The cast were exhausted. It's unsurprising. And the audience, again, were quiet - perhaps even more quiet than they'd been in the afternoon. I could sense the actors waiting for laughs which didn't come. It was all a bit strange, because, once again, at the end, lot of people stood up.

Meriel sat next to me in Act Two and fell apart during In Our Hearts. I held her hand. I hope the experience was cathartic rather than traumatic. Philippa reported a group of girls so distraught at the end that they couldn't leave their seats. I kinda thought we'd written a comedy! Confused.com.

I was deeply proud of the cast, who came onto stage for their bows holding the placards we'd carried on the march and left backstage. It felt like such a wonderful and appropriate way to show their solidarity.

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