Friday 15 June 2012

Queen for a Day

"Why Hamlet, dear, you've written us a play..."

"Nothing lasts forever in the theatre.  Whatever it is, it's here, it flares up, burns hot - and then it's gone."

Another production has been and gone.  Or rather, has chugged along unassumingly for months, has sputtered and fizzled a bit, has exploded into glory, and has suddenly, unbelievably, ceased to exist.

I've said it before, I know, but putting on a show is an emotional bloody rollercoaster.  Nowhere else do you experience such completely consuming glee and glumness within such a short space of time.  No flippin' wonder we're all tired, cast-mates!

Truthfully, the Post-Show Bereavement isn't too strong right now.  (There's a lot to be said for a full-time job - I get the after-show blues far less devastatingly now than I did in my student days!)  Everyone is a little sad it's over, and Facebook is comfortingly flooded with photos and reminiscences.  I think the saddest thing is actually the knowledge that the glumness will quickly fade, because with it goes the excitement, too.  I'll always have my memories of this brilliant week, but how much will they mean to me, three weeks, three months, or a year from now? 

In February, you remember, I was in two big-scale shows within two weeks.  I had two scores, two librettos, two costumes, two casts, two opening nights and two final ever nights, and two consecutive Sunday mornings brought fresh show-hangovers.  It was a double whammy, a rollover, of everything I love and hate about performing, and how many times a week does that crazy, exhilerating, exhausting fortnight cross my mind now, four months later?  Hardly ever.  Two months from now I shall be home from Buxton and bitterly mourning Iolanthe, while A Tale of Two Hamlets will be a dusty old has-been of a memory.  Every show is the best one there ever was; every, every time.  Each new one pushes the previous ones further back and knocks off a bit more of their ancient sparkle.  Show-business, my friends, is fickle and heartless! 

In the grand scheme of all the shows in my past, and all the shows I hope will be in my future, it was small fry.  But while it was here it was a cracker, and worth celebrating.  Commemorating, if you like, since we're on a royal theme.  The best one there ever was, for now at least.  Queen for a Day.

Hmm.  Introspective eloquence an unexpected side-effect of post-show blues?  This lengthy blog post has been maudlin and self-indulgent, but I quite like it!  Makes a change from the wittering you get when I talk about dresses and lipstick, at any rate!

Dress rehearsal photographs of A Tale of Two Hamlets taken by my candy-floss-haired chum Liffy Wood.


  1. <3 I'm getting the blues now too. Possibly because I had even more than usual to contribute to this show (even though my role feels like it was less than my usual chorus self!). The hardest part is finding things to fill my tuesday/thursday evenings.
    I also like that I'm still candyfloss haired even though it's no longer pink :P xxx

  2. "Every show is the best one there ever was; every, every time."
    Really sums it up for me - my favourite show is always the one I'm doing, the one I'm about to do, or the one I've just done. In hindsight I might rate them differently, but no memory really matches up to the immediacy of the experience at the time, the prospect of doing something new and different, or the attachment felt more keenly by its absence after it's done.

  3. Aw, sounds like you have plenty to look forward to anyway, and it does look like you had so much fun :)

    Penny Dreadful Vintage


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