Saturday, 4 February 2017

Twelve hour kip

I'm both proud and slightly embarrassed to admit that I slept until mid day today! My plan was simply to sleep until I woke up after getting the very strong impression yesterday that the cold was returning. I obviously needed the sleep, but the whole day has felt incredibly short as a result. I can count on the fingers of one hand what I've actually achieved.

I managed to get into Muswell Hill to visit Barclays Bank, where, incidentally, all the employees smelt really nice! I had some forms to fill in regarding the recent fraud on my account, and I was advised to have them faxed from a branch to make sure they didn't go walkabouts in the post. I'm astounded that anywhere still faxes. Faxing is so old fashioned that my iPhone is routinely changing the word to "facing." I remember the days when you'd often get confused and end up phoning the fax number by mistake. You'd hear a weird bleeping, whistling noise down the phone. To my knowledge, I'm not sure I've personally ever sent a fax.

I came back to Highgate and wrote the first draft of a song for Em. This particular song has been a bit of a stumbling block for me because I haven't yet got to grips with what it is or what it needs to be. I've sort of always glided over it when working on the script, but this has always made me uncomfortable - almost as though what I've written beyond that point is somehow invalid because I haven't allowed the song to change anything dramatically.

The song is actually an argument which, in musical theatre terms, is dangerous ground. Sung arguments can be toe-curlingly dreadful and make the audience just want to giggle. The other danger zone in musical theatre writing, for different reasons, is the love duet. It's very difficult to find any way beyond the cringingly obvious to draft lyrics which express love, but furthermore, these songs universally run the risk of becoming what Nathan describes as "the crisp packet moment." This is the point at which all the children in a pantomime audience become bored and get their sweets out because they have no interest in Jack and Jill telling each other how much they're in love. In more adult shows, audiences reserve the love duet for the moment to get their programmes out to see whether the leading man has been in Eastenders.

I've been watching Season One of "The Jump" on the Channel 4 catch up service to see whether I might enjoy watching Season Two when it starts on Sunday. The programme features a series of celebrities learning how to do winter Olympic sports. It's high-jeopardy; people are enduring bone-shattering accidents, but ultimately no one is any good at any of the sports they're trying out. It's all a little underwhelming, but my capacity to watch these sorts of shows knows no bounds. I like my telly vacuous. Sadly, in their ultimate wisdom, C4 have suddenly taken the series down, so I'll never know who wins. Why would they take the old series down on the eve of the new series? It just doesn't make sense to me.

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