Nathan dropped me off at High Wycombe train station this morning so that he could continue to Marlowe in Buckinghamshire where he was doing a corporate gig. I needed to get back to London to visit Trinity Conservatoire where I'm mentoring a group of students through the process of putting on scenes from a new musical.
High Wycombe is a bit of a weird station. The London platform is miles away from the ticket office. To get there, you have to walk all the way down the West bound platform and over a little bridge. Fortunately, there's a lovely cafe waiting for you when you get there, where a Polish girl will compliment you on your moustache and show you a picture of her father wearing Medieval clothing and sporting a scraggly orange moustache which she'll tell you looks exactly like yours.
I pulled into Marylebone station, seemingly just a few minutes later. It's a very quick journey. Marylebone is a funny old place. I couldn't find the entrance to the tube and wandered around the station getting in everyone's way.
My mentoring sessions were in New Cross, which is in the South East of London, a million miles away from Marylebone, which is in the North West of the city. Left to my own devices, I would have taken a pathetically silly route across the city, but fortunately had the foresight to check in with Transport for London first who sent me down the Jubilee Line to Canada Water where I changed onto the old East London Line, which used to be yellow on the maps but is now orange. The total journey time was something like 30 minutes which seemed insanely fast. For London!
I'm not sure I'm a massive fan of New Cross. Everyone seems either too grumpy or too cool for school in those parts. I almost went into a charity shop, but the woman sitting behind the counter gave me such evil looks as I entered that I immediately walked out again.
Rehearsals, I discovered, via a process of elimination and several panicky messages, were happening in a building in a network of streets which seemed to belong almost exclusively to Goldsmiths University. Whole rows of terraced housing seemed to have been taken over and turned into offices and lecture spaces.
The show I'm mentoring is a musical adaptation of that charming Ealing Comedy, the Lady Killers, which, in my view, is a really lovely idea for a show! Each year, Trinity runs something called Co Lab, where huge swathes of students get the opportunity to do something creative where they can call the shots. The Lady Killers has been written by a couple of chaps called Em and Lawrence. The former seemed a little confused when I told him the name of my current musical!
Rehearsals for the project are going well. They're performing 3 songs from the show with a full band of musicians who are also acting in the piece, and getting involved with all sorts of elements of behind-the-scenes work from orchestrating, to directing and choreography. True team work.
I rushed back from rehearsals to make it home to spend an evening with Nathan, who is off on a knitting retreat for a few days at the end of the week. We made pancakes in honour of Pancake Day, but realised, as the first one slid out of the pan, that Shrove Tuesday is actually next Tuesday. #awkward. No wonder there hadn't been a run on Jiffy Lemon in the local corner shop!