I was back in Thaxted this afternoon, depositing the car that I'd borrowed to drive to Abingdon yesterday. My Mum cooked a fabulous roast meal with all the trimmings. I don't actually know what "trimmings" are but we must have had them, or, at least whatever the vegetarian equivalent of trimmings are. Actually, the trimmings are probably all the things that vegetarians eat...
Brother Edward drove me back to London and, on returning home, I found Nathan in the sitting room recording a pod cast. He does one a week these days, and they're really rather popular. He's just returned from running classes at a knitting retreat in Manchester. There wasn't a single man on the retreat. I tell you: the quest for gender equality has to work both ways.
We watched the Let It Shine final today. I'm not sure what "guest" judge, Peter Kay was on, but he certainly made it all about him rather than the contestants! My favourite part of the show was when we were told each band would be singing a proper "musical theatre" song, before the first group got up and sang Footloose... from the film, Footloose. The film may have been turned into a tatty jukebox musical, but there's no way on earth that you could call its title track a "musical theatre number." Karma Chameleon by Culture Club was featured as the encore in the musical Taboo, but you could never describe it as musical theatre song.
Of course, when the next band sang an ACTUAL musical theatre song (from Hairspray), the studio came alive. That's because REAL musical theatre songs are written with this sort of audience response in mind.
It turns out that the band aren't even centrally featured in the narrative of the show they're publicly auditioning for. The musical, we learned tonight, is actually about five teenaged girls! I hope I'm not correct here, but it seems the boys are merely singing the songs which punctuate the action in the style of Torch Song Trilogy. No wonder they've never bothered to check if the lads can actually act!
At the end of the show, Gary Barlow told the lads that they start rehearsals "tomorrow morning" (Sunday?!) Turns our that the show opens in September. I doubt there'll be any rehearsals at any time in the near future! I don't really know why people bother to say things like that.
What pleased me, however, was that one of the winners, a chap called Sario, is an NYMT stalwart. He was never in Brass, but has been doing shows with them for many years. I think he's still only about 19! NYMT kids have two retirements. The first when they're too old for youth theatre, and then again at the age of 70!