‘So Long Ago and oh so Far Away…’ (Pimp’s Tango)
So our third and final week in Birmingham (sad face) crept up on us rather quickly which left the ‘Threepenny’ gang with plenty to cram in before we left. It’s astonishing how rapidly the time passed as we whizzed through the last seven shows of our penultimate venue. It also seemed as though the weather was on our side which enabled us to enjoy a few cups of coffee (!) by the canal whilst enjoying the beautiful sunshine.
The entire company were treated to a lovely tea and cake afternoon on Friday hosted by Stuart and Roxana from the Rep which was delightful. We were also presented with the completed sketches of the show from artist Tom Jones who I mentioned in last week’s blog and they were fantastic!
This week was particularly social beginning on Tuesday with a lovely and civilized ‘cheese and wine’ evening hosted by Pickles (Matt). This ‘cheese and wine’ soiree was like no other in the sense that it also incorporated a cheeky bit of rapping where Moby (CSM) and Ben (Jake) particularly excelled. TJ (Smith), Max (Filch) and Stacey (Nellie) tried their hand at a bit of ‘avant garde’ wall climbing and Pickles banged out a fabulous musical playlist…Max was so exhausted by the end of it all that he needed a little lie down!
Thursday evening saw the company congregating yet again for a belated birthday boogie for Stacey…dance hall of choice…REFLEX!!! The perfect recipe for a brilliant night: a barrage of 80’s tunes, a revolving dance floor and an abundance of helium balloons…priceless! So come Friday morning (at 10.15am!) at the Rep where a performance of Refugee Boy was occurring in the studio, it was the ‘hard core’ of the group that peeled themselves out of bed and into the theatre! Hats off to you!
Lastly, following our final performance in Birmingham, a bunch of us, joined by former Graeae CSM Roshni, piled into the Yardbird for a sneaky bit of jazz.
This week was exceptional as the audiences grew and responses seemed to escalate, with the crowd often up on their feet and a wonderful complete standing ovation on Saturday night…the perfect way to end a great three weeks! However, there was the odd mishap every now and again that kept proceedings fresh and fruity starting with the blood red curtain refusing to drop at the top of the show on Monday…cue ‘Super Rosie’ (ASM) to dart on and save the day. This was immediately followed by Barbara (Betty) managing to break her ‘fake hump mechanism’ resulting in a slightly less than impressive swelling than usual! Stephen (Ned) had an interesting moment during The Ballad of Easy Life where he managed to lose his shoes…awkward…and I (Lucy) finally gave CiCi (Polly) a black eye by launching a polystyrene prop cake at her face…sorry!!
Verbal calamities were also out in full force this week when Milton (Macheath) announced to me that “every now and then I give her (Polly) what passes for a crisp” (instead of a ‘kiss’) and followed it up by referring to his beloved Polly as ‘Poddy’!…Sorry, who??!! Luckily CiCi’s immediate response was “Oh Mac, it was such a s&*% time”…Freud!!! None of this, however, could top the priceless moment on Saturday night where John (Narrator) announced his speech for the top of Act 2 at the top of Act 1…only to be told by Jude (sign interpreter) that this was wrong. Cue rapturous applause from the audience when he eventually did get it right…that would have been a speedy show!
This must have had a domino effect for the music as John gave us an extra ‘Big Ben Bell Bong’ ™ in the prison and again in the Epitaph which is probably why Joey (MD) spat all over himself in the Act 2 Finale. Joey then retaliated with a rogue note from the piano following a Call from the Grave…OK mate, you win. With all of this going on, Sonia (Maisie) thought she had escaped unscathed having entered with her clarinet line two bars early in the Overture…she didn’t! In her defence, that one is so weird, nobody would have noticed!
For the weekly culinary report Amelia (Jenny), Joey and myself took a lovely trip to Pizza Express to take full advantage of Orange Wednesday…we thought we would be resourceful and save one for after the show and left it in the Green Room as to not stink out the dressing rooms. Come to 22.23 hours, it was gone…we will find the pizza thief…watch this space. For the record, my money is on Will (Tiger Brown)!
On a happier note John and Drew (Team Sound) were up to their usual baking shenanigans as they embarked on a blueberry cheesecake for Martin’s (Team Sound) birthday and it was delicious even if the process was hilarious. There is a video circulating titled “Baking with John Kelly featuring Special Guest, Drew” and it does come with a warning “Do not attempt without a professional chef present.”
In other news, Joe Vetch (Bob) managed to leave his microphone on stage in the warm up preceding Thursday’s matinee…he was promptly reminded by Stu (DSM) over the tannoy that “the house is now open so go and retrieve it subtly like a ninja.” Sophie was faced with much ridicule when she managed to trip over in the dressing room and land in the laundry bin…I was, however, hit with ‘instant karma’ when I did exactly the same thing moments later….shame!
Wow…sorry that was such a long one but you will have a fortnight to recover as…yes, you’ve guessed it…we have a week off! So join me in two weeks where I shall be reporting from the final venue of the tour…West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds. (Where, hopefully, people will remember to turn off their mobile phones during the Barbara Song!) Thank you Birmingham…Bye!
#3popera #SaveTheILF #BecauseWeAreWorthIt
Natasha Lewis…aka…Lucy Brown.