Thursday, 3 May 2007

First Night, Party with the Mayor

First Night went well with remarkably few hiccups (that I noticed). The audience was a bit slow to get going but then got in the swing of things and were fantastic. What a relief! Nancy has now taken to bringing a bottle of port into the dressing room because, she told us, her aunt said it’s good for the voice (and auntie’s a professional singer). Sounds good to me, though if I tried it, it would go straight to my head and I’d fall flat. Curiously I wasn’t nervous, but that was probably because I didn’t have anyone in the audience.

The mayor and local Bods came back stage for a party afterwards – hadn’t realised there’d be such a spread, though I was too high to eat and downed a (very small) glass of wine which instantly made me feel as if I’d consumed at least a bottle. As it was then 11pm (WELL past my bed time), I decided I’d better drive home. Very slowly, with the windows open and nervously on the look out for any You-Know-Who.

Tonight my mother is coming plus some cousins I haven’t seen for ages who live in Bournemouth but who are down here on holiday. Then my friend Nik is coming – she can sit next to Mum, and the dear girls from next door, so I shall have a full house. For me, that is. The plan is to have a drink in the bar after the show which will doubtless have the same effect. Life feels definitely askew this week, wrapped in shroud of unreality and it’s extremely difficult to concentrate so work is slowing to a trickle. Today the refrain from Oliver is, ‘I shall scream, Mr Bumble, I shall scream, scream, scream…’ I’m sure a psychologist would have a lot to say about that.

Second night went well and I realised what a difference it makes having friends in the audience. At one point I tried to find out where they were sitting and totally lost concentration. Shan’t do that again.

Poor Oliver 2, who is 11, had to let the other one take over half way through. He had terrible nerves and wasn’t feeling well either (he had a bad cold) and dissolved into tears every time he came off stage. He’s recently had the lead in a school production, so everyone knows he can do it but nerves got the better of him last night poor love and he had to retire to being one of Fagin’s Gang, though they both got a good curtain call. Talking to one of the younger members of the cast, she said that the younger Oliver is fine because he’s too young for stage fright, which apparently kicks in at around 10 or 11. You learn something new every day.

I’m loving it, but am getting more and more exhausted by day. By Sunday I will need to be scraped off the floor, I think.

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