It all got a bit French bohemian literary salon at Till-Taylor Towers last night. Fiona was on the sofa, supping red wine, whilst we listened to the mixes from the studio sessions she's been doing this week, which are remarkably atmospheric. Nathan was knitting socks. The bohemian garret vibe was entirely wrecked, however, when we suddenly found ourselves taking pictures on Snapchat which made us laugh so much that the neighbours must have thought we were getting stoned.
Last night we went up to Tally Ho Corner in Finchley to the charming Arts Depot theatre where we watched an amateur production of the musical version of The Full Monty. It's a peculiar piece. The writers, in their American wisdom, decided to take Sheffield out of the original story, and set the piece in Buffalo, which was, by all accounts, the steel-working capital of the United States until the manufacturing base dropped out of the country. The parallel is a good one and the story works well in its new setting, but it's bit of a non-show, musically speaking. The writer, whose work I'm fairly familiar with, is a groove-meister, who places a great deal of emphasis on riffs and bass lines, whilst seemingly ignoring the concept of melody! It's not a road crash of a show by any means. The songs are thoroughly pleasant and the grooves work well for dance breaks. I just think if we're performing American musicals over here, they have to be amazing, or we might as well keep it British. The irony, of course, about farming out a musical about the death of British industry to the Americans is not lost on me. The Chinese steel our steal industry. The Americans steel our stories. We import their musical theatre. British musical theatre writers starve.
The cast did very well, all things considered. There were one or two vocal squawks, which were very occasionally matched by strange noises from clarinets in the pit, but with all the nudity and stuff in the show, it's a really brave piece for amateurs to performers. I was very impressed.
I took a rest from the Nene yesterday, and focussed instead on a song from Em, which the lovely Abbie is going to be singing at the MMD cabaret on Monday. The cabaret has slightly taken me by surprise this month. I was coasting along thinking I'd get around to asking Abbie if she'd sing for me at some point, looked at my diary yesterday and realised it was suddenly upon us. So I spent the day whipping that particular song into shape, creating a little backing track, and tidying up the lyrics.
George Michael's shrine is still going strong up in the village. They've moved it from the pavement directly outside his old house to the little triangle of municipally-owned grass about ten meters away. It's a really very lovely, peaceful spot. People have hung beautiful hearts, ribbons and candles on the trees, and there are flags from all over the world draped on the fences. It feels like its become an important location for his fans, and I'm really proud of Highgate residents for not demanding the shrine's removal. It's probably creating a bit of a tourism boom, so I say let's keep it! Every time I've been past it, it's been full of people.
I forgot to post this last night, which is possibly just as well, because this morning we were awoken by the sound of Fiona screaming "there's a bird! Oh my God, there's a bird." It seems that a little blue tit had come in through the kitchen window, flown the length of our corridor and up into the loft where she was sleeping. Actually the most important thing is to remain calm at all times with birds. Talk very gently to them, open the window, and they'll soon find the way out... as our little fella duly did. He stopped for a moment on the window ledge as though to say "thank you" or "sorry to panic you..." and then flew off into the big wide world.