Oh bloody Hell. We only have two clear days until preview day. Then one day. Then we go on up. How did that happen?
It didn’t help that we held a birthday celebration for Fred yesterday, which involved a lot of Guinness, some Special Brew, (Fred’s brother Ray brought it, don’t blame me!) cider, wine, and a fire and barbeque. Mad Lucy and Claire and Jill came and giggled on Mad Lucy’s sofa, (which you’ll be glad to know has gone healthily mildewed since its pristine life at her house), while the blokes played pool.
However, progress has been made publicity-wise: we is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/jdthemusical . See if you can fathom it. I find it all a bit hashtag fucked up.
So, post Special-Brew-gathering, we were knackered and seeing double today. Rehearsals still happened: here is Chloe conducting: (OK, haven’t got the focusing knack, I’m the first to admit it but this is a good simulation of what I was seeing anyway.)
It turns out Alfie can kind of act. He just feigned disinterest all these years to the point where he would ask to be taken home at the interval of every musical.
And here’s poor dead Billy. Although, you’re alright, he’s only pretending to be dead cos he’s so ‘ungry and his brothers ain’t got the ready to buy ‘im grub so….so….’e’ll just ‘ave to….DIE! (then he jumps up and wants a pork pie, don’t worry, kids, it’s a happy tale.)
My to-do-list is growing apace. For starters we need to find: suit trousers for Mr Blood, hat for Mr Blood (a bowler maybe?) boots for Ned, boots for Jem who does have some but… they got zips on ’em.
Zips did not exist in Victorian times. Cath, who has trained our girls in Musical Theatre since they were six, always says this is VERY IMPORTANT. Also with a Fringe audience, the people are VERY CLOSE. They will spot the zips.
Claire, who is a sick seamstress, (sick in the modern meaning of the word, of course, ie: great,wonderful – have to define that, as Gwanny reads the blog and might think poor Claire has gone down with something and, because of the italics, is most likely on the way out) has to come round soon to alter Mrs Blood’s dress with black elastic. We need to take the Cor Anglais to WoodWind and Reed to get mended. I need to find gory bloody feet and hands (FAKE!) to stick out of the coffin. We need to stain the coffin dark. A friend (internet-phobe therefore anonymous) suggested using tea for this. Cheap and easy. We also want to source one of those drums that is a box you can sit on. We also need to watch series five and six of Breaking Bad. Addicted, you see.
Oh bollox, I haven’t even got the berries berries, sweet cherries yet, nor the juicy juicy a-a-a-apples, nor the watercress all fresh and green. Bowering Sivers tells me she found some fake watercress. Where, I wonder? We need fake, otherwise it’s going to cost us a fortune. Tomoz, after WoodWind and Reed, I’m going on the prowl around town. Maybe Wilko’s? And what’s that shop wot popped up where Woolies used to be. BQ? QD? or is it called Store 21 or something? I bet that has fake fruit and veg. Even the Pound Shop might yield something.
We need to create space for the blinkin audience. Not easy as the Big Room’s chocka full of junk. And heavy shit like mummy grand pianos. Am thinking, keep the table and seat kiddies on it. Ditto backs of sofas. Sit em on the floor. Get the kitchen benches in. Make a backstage area with a rope and curtains. Oh my god, that will block out all the light. So what are we going to do for lighting chaps? I don’t think we have even tiddlywinked over that thought.
This is like an awful lot to have to do in forty-eight hours isn’t it? Pull your fingers out team! Fred has played twenty five rounds of President and Arsehole with the cast and has come to bed pissed out his mind so I fear he won’t be shunting baby-grands at seven am. However, he did sort out the ‘can’t fit everyone in the cars with all the stuff’ problem. ‘We’ll hire a van,’ he said. Brilliant! Alfie and Luke have shotgunned riding in the front with him. Good. They can talk about stupid sums and stuff all the way up while we will be able to listen to songs from the musicals on Radio 2.
We need refreshments for the previews. Tea and coffee for the three o’clock showing. Can I be bothered to do scones and jam and cream? I would really like to but….let’s be honest, won’t get it together. Too busy raiding the supermarchés on behalf of rampant raw diabetic vegan. Then, safe choice, beer, cider, wine, juice for the seven o’clock. Get em pissed. They’re less likely to complain and more likely to enjoy! Maybe this is a good argument to serve vino at the three o’clock too….but we don’t want smashed adults losing control of their kiddiwinkies.
Oh God, Inez (Billy) apparently has to leap out of the coffin at one point. Ha, now they tell me. I had blithely assured poor José that a nailed-shut coffin would do the job just fine, but now he has to do the whole hinges thing.
To counteract all this we did our Goddess Shakti workshop. It was wonderful. My !Mowocco Fwends! Sue, Penny and Caroline were there! Lots of breathing and flowing up and down. We invoked the Goddess with chanting.
I think I got so busy I never got to tell you much about the Morocco yoga retreat in April. I went along just to humour my friend Janet. But it was the best thing ever. Came back on a high to beat all other highs. And all natural. For weeks after I bounced about with the dogs in the woods feeling like a rangy giant. My limbs felt long, strong, lean. The hinges of my body were all oiled.
The energy was zinging about in Morocco. We would meditate in the yoga room at five in the morning facing the rising sun. Air tumbled through vast arched windows. The light changed very slowly. Grey to gold. I could see the teeny bits of light zipping about, strands of it pouring into my eyes. My senses were picking up things in a new way. I felt light and strong and clear and clean and beautiful and I was LOVE pure and simple. Nothing was an effort. I could move with balance, symmetry. One morning Jac did a guided meditation with us, opening up our chakras using colours, and I started thinking about my brother Ferg, and visualising him, as he was all those years ago, and as he was when I saw him during Dennis’ incredible healing session. I could feel his presence. I could see him like he was really there. The meditation went on. It seemed like seconds were stretching in a wierd way. It was like I had cracked holding onto time. Didn’t have to squeeze, it was there in the palm of my hand. I had as much time with Ferg as I wanted. The peace was a slow-motion ocean. My fingers and toes disappeared into the air til I could no longer feel my body.
The next day, at five in the morning, we walked in a silent line up the grey mountain to meditate, and tears dripped to the dusty ground all the way up. I cried all day. Even though he died twenty-seven years ago, I felt his loss as fresh as if it were yesterday.
On the plane home, we sat next to this wonderful guru woman, who runs orphanages in India. She was a yoga teacher too and told us about meditation she does with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in classes where hundreds of people simply go into two-hour trances and zonk out. This woman seemed to have deep layers of knowledge and I wondered if she might know how and why my brother had seemed to visit me after all these years during the yoga. I mean, was I maybe managing to meet him on the astral plane, out of the constraints of time?
I asked her about it.
She looked me in the eye and said, ‘You have a pain in your heart… and you have to let him go.’
I felt like my heart was going to break. There was a battle going on in my head. I cried for the rest of the journey. With a person that you love, you don’t want to let them go. You never want to let them go. You want them to stay. I have kept him alive in me all these years because I am stubborn and determined. But that, I suppose she was trying to tell me, is an illusion and misdirected energy.
But after that, something cleared in me, and I thought maybe I had been holding on to the pain, like….unnecessarily? It’s like with Hale Dwoskin and his Learning Strategies: ‘Can you let it go? ‘ (you have to do the voice!)
Should I let him go?