Sunday 21 August 2011

Oh Joy, Oh Rapture Unforeseen

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

My chum Kayleigh always likens the post-show blues to a messy break-up.  The whole thing IS rather like a crazy whirlwind love affair.  You can't sleep, you can't eat (doesn't seem to stop me drinking though...), it occupies your thoughts so completely that you neither notice nor care that you haven't been anywhere but rehearsal, spoken to your other friends, cooked a meal or watched a minute of tv all week.  You delight in in-jokes, you sing in the street without a thought to how silly you look to those who don't understand, and even though you know, you know it's going to come to an end soon, on that awful morning when it's finally over, you desire nothing more than to hurl your poor, hungover, heartbroken self into the nearest river.

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.)


  1. Brilliant! I really miss acting, I did drama at school and wish I had pursued it a bit more... So much fun (even with the effort and stress) !! :D You look adorable in the pictures. xox

  2. Hehehe, glad it went well. Buxton is a lovely wee town isn't it x

  3. I was totally all "OMG THEY ARE MY PHOTOS =D *glees a little bit (but not the teenage singing show verion, the actual happy glee)*

    I don't know what I prefer now... singing on stage or being in the orchestra! Will you be sneaking into Nugss again this coming year? xxx

  4. You all look amazing - I love the photos! Hope the show went well!


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