This is a random moment of vanity depicting me doing my hair in my dressing room some time in 1946, because I can't think of a good opening sentence for this Toast Post.
I have been to Buxton.
Buxton is a beautiful town in Derbyshire (and I'm not really one for admiring natural scenery, but Buxton was incredibly pretty), famous for spring water and an annual Gilbert and Sullivan festival. Just to warn you, this post will be about the latter, so fans of spring water may wish to leave now.
Have we just got G&S enthusiasts left in the room now? Excellent.
I was there to perform a special edition of HMS Pinafore: The War Years, which we first put on back in May (Remember?)
You've seen my synopsis and pictures of the first show, so I'll not bore you with the same thing again.
(Lies - when have I ever neglected an opportunity to publish photographs of myself? Pictures will be in abundance!) We returned late on Thursday, and I spent Friday in a state of utter despondency, which got me thinking about the nature of pre-show excitement, post-show bereavement and everything in between. I have never known any experience that is so much of an emotional rollercoaster as putting on a show.
G&S face interpretation of 'happy' and 'sad' :op
Drunk and grumpy, post-after-show-party
So why do we do it? Why do we put ourselves through the grief, to say nothing of the pre-show stress and exhaustion, all for two hours in the limelight? Because it's FUCKING BRILLIANT, that's why.
In the past week I've been recognised in the street by audience members (DEFINITE high point!), wept tears of frustration at my own persistent out-of-tunefulness (low point), been lifted up in the air like Buzz Lightyear, spent inordinate amounts of money in public houses, been on a cross-country road trip, drunk more cups of tea than I normally do in a month, lost half a stone, made wonderful new friends, been treated to charming stories about being catheterised, indulged my vanity by watching myself on tv twice, soothed ruffled feathers, had my own feathers ruffled, been bitten by the Buxton bug, laughed myself into coughing fits, killed a few brain cells with hairspray fumes, sung, danced,
acted made faces to dialogue, had a wonderful time and took the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival BY STORM!
Bring on next year.
|To Infinity and Beyond!|
(Photographs stolen without asking first from the talented Liffy Wood. Oh, and Matt.)