Thursday, 24 June 2010

Two Shakespeares and a Funeral

Is it really 3 months since my last blog post? Yes (she says sheepishly) I'm afraid it is!

I will start with the funeral (on 31st March) and the shock and sadness felt at the death of one of my fellow cast members from Rugby Theatre's "Gaslight". Barbara Finch who played the housekeeper, passed away just a month after our last performance in February. Aged 69 but looking much younger, Barbara appeared so full of life and zest. It feels such an honour that she spent her last few weeks of life within the happy family of the Gaslight cast and crew. RIP Barbara x

Barbara Finch as Elizabeth (left) in Gaslight

Following my guest appearance on BBC Radio Coventry & Warwickshire on 'National No Smoking Day' on 10th March I was invited back to the station's "Coffee Club" on 5th April, presented by the lovely Annie Othen. It is a bit like a radio version of ITV's "Loose Women", a very relaxed hour of chit-chat with three other women. On the agenda were finance, camping, football, cycling, holidays and skinny people. I returned to the station a couple of weeks later for "My Song", a 5-minute slot to tell listeners the story behind a significant song in my life, which was "Hello" by Lionel Richie".

In May, I attended an audition in Birmingham for an acting company. Following 3 hours of improvisation, fun and frolics (not cockney rhyming slang, I hasten to add) I made it into their books! Just waiting for the phone to ring.....

Also in May, I went, for the first time, to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London to see "Macbeth". It was a brilliant afternoon's entertainment and I can't remember having ever applauded so enthusiastically at the end of a performance. The whole cast was talented, but I particularly liked the 'Weird Sisters' and the 'Porter' (keeper of Macbeth's castle) skilfully and humorously played by Frank Scantori. He took great pleasure in throwing buckets of wee into the 'groundlings' who were the standing audience, many who stood under a large canopy with their heads peeping through.They represented the lost souls in Hell - utterly fantastic! Coincidentally, Frank Scantori was also one of the leading actors in the film 'Room 36' reviewed in my last blog post.

Outside Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London

Frank Scantori as the Porter

The following day I did something I vowed a few years ago I would never do again... I worked as a TV 'Extra'. I'm a really easy-going person but past experiences of being herded about like cattle truly put me off! However, the opportunity arose to work in 'Midsomer Murders' in Henley-on-Thames, and offered a lift by a fellow Equity member, I agreed. As it happened, I was grouped (as a garden party guest) with a couple of very funny guys who looked after me all day. If Tony and Pete ever read this, thank you! During lunch we got lumbered with another chap who I nicknamed 'Duracell' because he went on and on, talking incessantly about when he appeared in Robin Hood with Russell Crowe (yawn). He carried on talking about Russell whilst eating greasy tomato pasta and never once paused to chew properly. Looking into the depths of his orange glistening mouth, I struggled to eat my own lunch! We managed to escape Duracell thankfully but we were full of sympathy for his other victims, who no doubt were tempted to gnaw off their own fingers in boredom. There is a limit to how much time one is prepared to hear about Russell Crowe and Robin bl***y Hood! I bet Duracell's teeth are happy when he's asleep.

A couple of weeks later in June, one of the nice funny chaps, Tony and his very pretty wife, Helen performed in an outdoor production of Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night'. Trevor and I did a 180-mile round trip to see it and it was worth every mile to see this charming performance with a glorious backdrop in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.

Malvolio and Sir Toby Belch (Tony)

What else? Well, we've just returned from a pleasant 3 days in Devon, visiting family and friends in Torquay, Dartmoor, Plymouth and Teignmouth. Back to work... bye for now x

Taken on Teignmouth Pier