Wednesday, 23 July 2014

First day of the holidays and some heavenly Bach

We are currently at anchor at the Channel Isle of Guernsey. The weather is very warm around 25 degrees and it is only 10am ! Actually the children and S are the only folk in the pool at the moment, but that is probably because the vast majority of the passengers have left the ship for a visit to Saint Peter Port. We came here last Oct so decided the warm weather and the quiet swimming pools held more attraction that a hot and flustered visit to a town !


In the Piazza on the Ruby Princess last evening we heard the most lovely string quartet who played a selection of Bach movements arranged for four strings, and I thought it utterly beautiful. Normally the music is rather more mainstream and very average - which is why I tend to avoid it like the proverbial plague, but drinking a good coffee and listening to the Bach Double Violin Concerto slow movement was heavenly.


I do love the Princess ships for many reasons, they are an American line and they 'do' service very very well, so even at dinner, given my food restrictions these days, I could request almost everything I wanted - I have to say though, I over indulged on a few bits and pieces and my sugar numbers were somewhat sky high this morning - oh dear ! From today I will be sensible and disciplined !! Honest!


This is a very port heavy cruise around the British isles so I think, as a family, we are hoping everyone gets off the ship each day and we have it to ourselves ! The ship is positively heaving with Americans, Spanish and Southern Hemisphere passengers, so much so we have rarely heard a British accent. In some ways it is rather nice, the children are thrilled to mix with folk from Arizona, Texas and California !


Note from the picture the lack of people and just a small W's bobbing head in the bluest of blue swimming pools. Peace.


Monday, 14 July 2014

Dress Rehearsal Day

It is dress rehearsal day ! We had a long, long traditional ' put everything right' Sunday extravaganza yesterday, and of course it was the first time we had had our new leading lady R !

As I knew, she stepped in and did a wonderful job, slotting into the dance routines very quickly and lending her own personal take on the role of Yum Yum ! Finally it gave M, our Nanki Poo a person with whom to interact, sadly however, on the one day in the year when she herself lost her voice completely.

Is our Mikado doomed ?! We will see what this evening brings, but we still have 24 hours left for her voice to recover !!

The dog was a small marvel, behaved like a pro, and did everything she was supposed to do and more. She even took herself on at one point, almost 'talked' to KoKo then nonchalantly walked off down the wheelchair ramp and into the wings! I am seriously considering renting her out to film companies !

The chorus upped their game considerably and the small amounts of costumes they were wearing made for the real feeling of character. This year the whole show seems to be much more drama based. As we have set it in a hotel foyer complete with reception and bar, busyness is going on throughout the whole time, so chaps walk across complete with packages, the bell boy carries luggage, asks the accountant for signatures on receipts and the hotel manager's ex wife appears complete with dog and daughter at times when the man himself is somewhat tipsy !


Building my part up

Never work with children and animals !

Ha Ha !!


Friday, 11 July 2014

Modern Technology and I'm a little baffled !

The modern way to rehearse !


The rehearsals are going well, the usual hiccups and over and over 'againing', to get the feet and voice in harmony, but it is looking good, as yet though, a little ragged around the edges ! We need an injection of adrenalin now to give the whole show a lift - perhaps even a little dose of fear, just to keep everyone on their toes, literally !

The dialogue is slowly morphing into conversation, although one can never say that Gilbert and Sullivan language makes for easy chatting, it is complex and of its own witty and intellectual Victorian world, rather in the way Shakespeare is of its own Elizabethan world ! We are rehearsing all the dialogue today, and no more singing at all until Sunday. Our troopers have been working so hard through a punishing regime of rehearsals that I have put three of them on voice rest for 48 hours ! I hope they obey, we cannot do with any sized crisis at this juncture !

Our Yum Yum does not arrive until late Saturday night, but I am told that she, Nanki Poo and KoKo have been rehearsing via Skype during the week ! Tom, our KoKo, also uploaded all the girl's choreography to a private Youtube account - it's baffled I am ......- and she has watched and put herself through the moves aka a Jane Fonda Workout video ! Both Rhona and Sara tell me this is a common way for folk to do what in the olden days we called , 'pick up' rehearsals ! How times have changed.

If it works however, I'm all for it, just a teeny bit glad that it is not part of my world these days !


Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Mikado Countdown...........

1930's NYC Hotel ( ps I've stayed there)

Just to get us into the mood of the period.....


I am sitting having a coffee in the Royal Highland Hotel right next door to the station in Inverness. The train is running about 90 minutes late, so bringing our superb pianist Julia back to the rehearsal at the expected leisurely pace seems to be fading into the distance ! However, it is wonderful to have her for a few extra days, which means the mad 24 hour run up to the first night will not be so rushed this year.

It is an enormous privilege to have a complete expert at the keyboard, and it means that quite apart from the fact that I can look at the show head on, so to speak, the cast will also hear ALL the notes, instead of a busked few chords ! This, of course changes things a little, and the principals are surrounded by sound both above and below what they are singing !

We have had two crackingly good rehearsals over the last couple of days, and really all that now needs doing is the tidying, slicking up and some yelling on my part ! BUT, not nearly as much yelling as usual. It is a miracle known only in the performing world, that faced with a crisis we perform more tightly with more intensity and with even more sparkle. It must be the 'inner diva' which lurks deep in even the most timid of hoofers and board treaders !

Which ever of our leading ladies had been taking centre stage I know that it will be a wonderful show. The sound is magnificent ( when you all know the words!), and the choreography is super, and the principals are excelling themselves !

The countdown begins...............