I barely slept last night. I stayed up late with Jeremy and the team and then I had the kind of restless night I always have when I'm away from Nathan for the first night. We sleep in dorms whilst we're in Sevenoaks School. My room has two beds in it, both of which are single, but only one of which is made up! I discovered today that Ruby, Laura and Ben have all slept here in previous years. I have heard one or two spooky bangs and crashes from the empty room next door, but I'll attempt to be brave...
The only trouble with the bed is the pillow. I should have remembered to bring my own. This one is so thin and insubstantial that, after folding it into quarters, my head was still flat against the mattress!! I ended up sleeping with the pillow wrapped around a towel, which did the trick.
I woke up with what can only be described as a hangover, and prowled around the Waitrose in Sevenoaks looking for shower gel whilst feeling horribly fragile. It was a far larger shop than I'd expected with terrible escalators and things. The man behind the till in the olden days would have been described as simple. These days we might just call him eccentric or "care in the community." I made the mistake of asking him a question. He panicked and said a lot of words which sounded like "please help me" in eighteen different languages.
Rehearsals went well today. Our MD, Alex arrived, and got cracking in a hard-core sort of way with the music. I did some one-on-one note-bashing sessions with some of the new cast whilst Hannah, the director, had a meeting with the new set designer. They shared some of their ideas with the cast, and I think we could be on for a fabulous-looking production.
My note-bashing session was with new boys Oscar, who plays Tom, and Matt, who plays Cov-lad Wilfred in the show. Matt is a genuine Midlander, which obviously pleases me greatly. Obviously I'm determined for him to be a long-lost relative but he's not playing ball. My Mum was christened in the village his Dad is from, and my own Dad is convinced that many people with his surname come from Nuneaton. "Not my lot" he said. "Boo" said I!
Hannah ran a fabulous session this evening, encouraging the cast to share personal stories, memories and thoughts. It was incredibly inspiring, and, in some instances, utterly hysterical. I got a serious case of the giggles at one point, triggered by a somewhat smutty one-liner inadvertently delivered by a cast member who's far too intelligent to aimlessly wander into a double entendre! Our new George is being played by Callum, who flies the flag for Wales so wonderfully that I just want to scoop him up, dress him in red and green tail coat and pop him in the Eurovision Song Contest. Every time he opens his mouth I feel another rush of deep Welsh patriotism! Llio's Ma Silva will love him when she sees Brass.
There's a glorious bank of girls in the show who come from different areas of Yorkshire and I've become obsessed with listening to the differences in their accents. I've also noticed that some of the Southern girls in the show are beginning to have their own accents altered by those around them. I am hoping this process continues until the entire cast sounds like they've just stepped out of the Leeds Corn Exchange c. 1914... Up the Barnbow Lassies!