Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Show Must Go On

This is the first chance I've had to sit down and compose my thoughts following an eventful week last week. The play went well - Ant remembered all his lines and gave a stonking performance. In fact everyone gave their best, and a few minor fluffs were expertly covered so that even those of us who were familiar with the script didn't notice. The publicity obviously worked, as we had decent houses every night - a virtual sell-out on Friday and a very respectable 75+ on the other nights. It was my first experience working front of house and I felt a bit out of it at first - but it was nice to say 'hello' to lots of familiar faces and chat to people in the interval.

As expected in show week, it wasn't without its traumas... The weekend before, Gareth was spiked in a nightclub and collpased. Apparently his speech was slurred and incoherent on the Sunday line run, but he carried on in character as normal. Then on Tuesday I got a call from Ant saying that Mum had been taken into hospital becuase Megan couldn't wake her up. I was up in London at a meeting, so I rushed home and we headed over to Eastbourne. She was home and doing OK, if a little shaken. They couldn't say for sure what was up with her, but she has to go back for a CT scan to see if it was a minor stroke or something. Scary stuff. Like a real trooper she insisted that the show must go on and so the dress rehearsal went ahead as planned - and in fact went extremely well.

When I switched my phone back on after the rehearsal, I had a text from Natalie saying that her baby had arrived - Reggie Craig - and that all was well. Happy news indeed, but I also felt a certain sadness that Craig won't meet his namesake

On Thursday night Ant's Mum and Dad came down to see the play and Damien, Mat and Tim also turned up. Ant didn't know about them, so it was a nice surprise when we met in the pub afterwards. His parents seemed genuinely impressed with his acting, and with the play in general - and his Dad was particularly taken with St Mary's as a venue. On Friday lots more friends came - Jo, Joe, Jenny (and her sister Vicky), Sarah, Rob and Richie. Rich had a migraine headache and had to go and lie down for the second act - so they didn't stay for drinks. But Jo and Joe met us in the Lamb and then came back to ours for more booze and jolly banter.

We took Joe for a nice pub lunch at Coleman's Hatch before dropping him at Hayward's Heath station on Saturday. The last night and get-out went well and a few people piled back to Mum's for drinks, including Tom Purser, who had come to see the play. Everyone was justifiably on a bit of a high, but Ant had agreed to drive, so we didn't stay late. There was an 'official' after show do at Jood's on Sunday, which was pleasant, but fairly sedate. I made mini-calzones which went down very well.

Ant hasn't shown any signs of being in the post-show comedown as yet, but he has already been entertaining thoughts of future productions, despite having said 'never again' on a number of occaisions during rehearsals. I'd love to see him carry on with it, as he seemed to take to it so easily. Perhaps a comedy role next time? Maybe this year will be my stage comeback too. Here's hoping...
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