Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The power of musical theatre

I'm beginning to feel a little lost. I may be suffering from exhaustion after France and the build up to France, but I'm just so worried about what's happening in Britain at the moment, that I keep realising I'm crying. I'm not crying for no reason, like some sort of nut job, but pretty much anything is likely to set me off. My old boss, Shaheen got called a "fucking paki" on the bus today. Some idiot then told her to "go back to where she comes from." In Shaheen's case that is Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham. She was born in the UK. Her mother is white. The images of grotesque thugs on a tram in Manchester ranting and railing at someone they perceived as an immigrant made me even more upset, largely because all the other passengers remained passive throughout the ordeal, only shouting back at the louts when one of them realised there was a baby in the carriage.

Nigel Farage's display in the European Parliament today was beyond embarrassing, and troubling because I believe it has made it incredibly likely that there will be no chance of negotiating an exit strategy which works for the UK. He behaved like a puerile school bully, giggling, throwing insults, pretending he didn't give a stuff when the chamber started to boo him. My God, I felt ashamed. Add to that, the behaviour of Dominic Cummings, Brexit's Campaign Manager, in front of the Treasury Select Committee. This rancid turd, whom I'd not even heard of before, claimed that “accuracy is for snake-oil pussies" before launching into an insane rant about the people who would kill him if he told the truth about what is going in in Europe. We now have a situation where the lunatics are genuinely running the asylum and the people who voted Brexit still seem to think everything is okay. We have to get order back before there's some kind of Civil War.

If you're reading this and you voted for Brexit, LOOK WHAT YOU HAVE DONE! Look at your country sinking into the mire. A laughing stock around the world. Do you care yet? Are you still believing the bullshit you were told, nearly all of which has subsequently been retracted, or are we going to need to sink deeper into the shit before you start to stand up and say "I voted for Brexit, but I didn't understand what that meant, please can we have another referendum before it's too late." This is serious. It's not a game.

In the late afternoon we went to Trafalgar Square and stood in the rain with Brother Edward, Sascha and about three thousand other people demonstrating against the referendum. I don't think any of us truly knew what we were hoping for. Probably the most likely option would be another referendum in the light of what we now know that we didn't know then. Any campaigning this time would need to be monitored carefully to prevent the bare-faced lies we witnessed from Dick Farage. I felt very proud that we'd braved the rain to be there. Sascha had made two placards which they held with pride until the rain made all the colours run.

There were news crews from around the world. We were interviewed by Germans, Australians and Japanese, all of whom, if I'm honest, seemed to be taking great delight in our country's meteoric fall from grace.

The demo: Very Evita!
This evening I discovered why musical theatre in the UK took off so spectacularly in the recession-torn 1980s (and indeed in 1930s USA.) Maddie, who is playing the role of Rosaline in this year's production of Brass, is actually a trumpeter in the first year at The Guildhall, and invited us to see the third year production of On The Twentieth Century which she was playing in. It was so lovely to sit in a darkened theatre and allow all my worries and fears to temporarily disappear into a blaze of show tunes and sequins. The production was fabulous. A thirty piece orchestra and as many in the cast. The whole experience was utterly transporting. I really needed it.

I don't normally get star struck in the slightest, but Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter and Judi Dench were all in the audience, and afterwards, when they saw each other, went in for a three-way hug, which was really very lovely to see. Maddie came out of the theatre and walked right past, her eyes almost bulging out of their sockets. It truly was a luvvie sandwich!

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