Wednesday, 30 June 2010
We Sail the Ocean Blue
What Ho !
Hurrah ! Today was my last official teaching day of the academic year 2009 to 2010. I am pretty bushed, as we say in Yorkshire, but quietly relieved that my music room and I can rest awhile. Of course we have the production of HMS Pinafore in just over 3 weeks, but that is a team effort and therefore the pressures and stresses are more evenly spread!
Much of the hard work is done now, and we are approaching the final push, when all the performers begin to sizzle with excitement. Lots of the cast are legally holidaying at the moment. We have an exclusion zone of the 3 weeks before the show when nobody can miss rehearsals, and the only good reason would be death, and even then I feel certain we could find a place in Act 1 for a dashing and jolly burial at sea - Holidaying, how dare they, you here me gasp!
Around this time in the production schedule, I have what is universally known as my 'annual yell'. This is when the wrath of Ann, and this year the cool young men I inveigled into co producing, (is that proper in Paradise?), will fall upon them like a thunderbolt from the nearest mountain top. It largely terrifies the children, noticably concerns the dependable and committed mature members, and for the most part goes un-noticed by the teenagers who half turn, shrug nonchalantly and continue the serious work of the evening, making life changing decisions about nail varnish.
The choruses are virtually blocked, or set, and the music is flying along like the Tokyo bullet train, and the steam and sweat produced in the rehearsal room would be enough to rival that produced by Old Faithful in Yellowstone Park, and probably smells about as appetising! Most people are giving their all, most of the time, and that is about as much as I can ask!
A few years ago we had a member who was a superb baker, and every rehearsal we had a magnificent and supremely gooey chocolate or coffee cake. She stopped performing 2 shows ago, and I can say hand on heart, that rehearsals fell into a deep slough of despond. The thought of that delectable goo kept us all firing until teabreak, and the sugar rush after the break helped us make it through to the bitter end. The cakes fuelled fortitude and concentration. Type 11 Diabetes came free, as an add on. Oh for a glorious slice.............
The costumes are being made, altered and generally fiddled with, and with each pin or twirl the cast become more animated and begin to 'build their parts up'! The girls preen and although they hotly deny it, the whole bunch of them love the attention.
The chaps like to wear their Naval caps - just for authenticity you realise! Authenticity my foot, they love it, and many a local chap's heart is filled with sea air, captain's daughters' and the threat of a hornpipe! There is a serious jaunt in the ether, and our Jeeves and Wooster, P&O version of Pinafore, complete with Flapper Girls and lots of 'What Ho'ing', is morphing into an organic being before my eyes.
Aye Aye me hearties, and bring out the Grog.
I set off once more for the mammoth drive South tomorrow for another festival, and another dollar. I hate being away at this crucial time in the birthing of the show, but needs must when the devil drives, and earn my living I must!
But I'd rather be yelling.