Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Blunder Woman

Yesterday was a day just like any other day, really. Bank holidays mean very little to people in the arts, so, whilst the cast had their Centrally-imposed day off, which I'm afraid I still don't quite understand, I sat underneath a pair of headphones, orchestrating.

There was a pretty major thunderstorm during the night. I was sleeping with the window open and could hear the roar of the rain, accompanied by a pretty heady smell, which could only be described as one of ionisation. It's a word which I recently heard used in association with the richly perfumed smell of water hurtling over a weir and, whilst I'm sure there's a very specific scientific definition of ionisation which has nothing to do with waterfalls and lightning, it feels like an appropriate word to use here.

I woke up to the news that Pam Gilby, the driving force behind the Fleet Singers, had died. The news made me feel incredibly sad. Pam is responsible for commissioning two oratorios by me: Songs About The Weather and The Man In The Straw Hat. She ran the choir with a rod of iron. Woe betide anyone who didn't pay their subs or come prepared to wash-up when it was their turn! I was fairly terrified of her when I first met her, but soon realised that her somewhat spiky, jobsworth exterior protected a deeply loyal heart, which cared passionately about the choir, and the little corner of North West London which she'd adopted as her home after moving here from South Africa in the early 1950s. She will be sorely missed.

I've been somewhat horrified to read about some of the merchandise which is being brought out for the release of the new Wonder Woman film. Wonder Woman, as we all know, is a kick-ass Amazonian. She has a well-etched moral compass and super powers to die for. Who doesn't want a lasso of truth? She's so kick-ass, that she was asked to become a UN ambassador in one of the most eccentric decisions ever made. Apparently, we're so short on female kick-ass role models that we have to dredge the world of fictional comics.

But what is the central piece of merchandise attached to this film about a strong kick-ass woman? A new line of lipstick. That's right: a woman needs to remember to look fabulous when she's dispatching the bad guys.

We watched the first of the live semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent last night. I don't yet know the results, but there was a gloriously awful moment at the start of the show, when the children's choir from Ireland had to start all over again because they "couldn't hear their backing track." In reality it seemed that the track had started midway through, so the choir merely stood like lemons waiting to find their way into a gin and tonic whilst Ant and Dec were forced to run on and mark time whilst everything got reset. The most bizarre aspect was that the backing track clearly had vocals on it, an indication that the choir were either miming or that the sound they make was so weedy and thin, that they needed to sing along to a recording of themselves. And let's hope it was actually their own voices! Ah! The artifice of TV.

Because I haven't heard the results, I don't want to go online searching for the reactions to this particular blunder, but I'd be intrigued to know how ITV attempts to smooth that one over!

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