I have had a few sleepy days and a restful time post show, I only realised how tired I was by Monday morning when I woke up around midday and my back having given up the ghost ! I cannot sit and watch the show once it is up and running, I have always found myself at the back, or in the wings swaying with dance rhythms or tensing like a soldier if I sense something is going astray with dialogue or moves ! I was like a 90 year old arthritis sufferer unable to straighten up and about as mobile as a concrete garden gnome !
Two days down the line and the back is much much better, I am now reached a 75 year old garden gnome made of plastic ! Looking up !
I have done much reflecting on the 2015 Gondoliers cast team. In many ways it was a dream team, if you will pardon the colloquialism. We had one or two very upsetting moments in the run up to the show, seriously disturbing, and which caused much sadness in the cast. This could have been very detrimental and brought the general joy and life of rehearsals to a grinding halt. However, in the true sense of 'the show must go on' they picked up, put it behind them and kept calm and carried on. Believe me, it was not easy for a week or so.
The miraculous thing was that the ' bounce back' and the closeness of the group became richer and deeper. Adversity almost always has a huge binding effect and on this occasion that is ( thankfully) exactly what happened. We glued together and all ages and stages learnt a good deal from the situation.
The crowning glory is always when the soloists arrive, and this was especially powerful this year. The team of three added in the final piece of musical and personal scaffolding, adding the uplift of wonderful singing, extreme humour and calm gentle strength.
I have also found myself reflecting upon the need for trust between fellow performers, whether chorus, small role or main principal. Trust is the bottom line on stage - well possibly next to generosity. Indeed the two most generous performances on stage were Those by The Duchess and Don Alhambra, M and I. They allowed excessive humour to happen on the stage whilst they were singing their solos, which in the long run enhanced their moment, but made it more Impossibly difficult to sing and not corpse, and they thus had to share their moment with others. This is a magnificent thing to do on stage.
If we cannot trust our colleagues then communicating is so difficult and this leads on to more shallow and less 3D performances. I remember very vividly a moment in my singing career when, as we all do at times, I had a total dry, I realise now that I had absolutely no idea what was the first line of my big finale aria. My Dandini ( it was Rossini's Cenerentola) squeezed my hand, seemingly even before I knew I had forgotten, turned and looked at me and fed me the words, and as if by magic I simply carried on.....how did he know ? Later he said that there was a cast or shadow in my eye which had changed and he instinctively knew.....
This is the depth of knowledge one gains on the short but intense relationship we have with fellow performers. It is unspoken and happens only if we allow it. The bond built up between colleagues is magical and inexplicable in many ways, but I am eternally grateful that I had, and still have that comfortable mystery in my life.
Inez waits all show for her moment, and it was brilliant !
The happy couple together at last !
Centre stage for the Cachuca !
In a contemplative fashion........
Don Alhambra putting up with chaos and mayhem !
The Duchess trying to control the uncontrollable !