Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow and Shows

The lovely weekend actually started on Friday. Snow had been predicted and Mikey had suggested I take my camera up onto Hampstead Heath to get some Christmassy pictures. I arranged the morning off work (well, I told Rob that I wasn’t going to be in and he should call if anything came up!) and hopped on an early train into town. Both the train and the tubes were uncommonly empty – probably lots of people had planned to work from home because of the expected snow – and I reached Hampstead at about 08:30, did a couple of hours wandering around with my camera (the better results being here.) Mikey and I met up around 10:30 for coffee (he’s already broken up for Christmas) and strolled around some more before he had to head off for a singing lesson. I headed into work and had a quiet afternoon – everyone seems to be throttling back, ready for the break.

Friday evening was our team’s Christmas night out. Rather than the traditional over-priced turkey dinner at an over-packed London restaurant, I’d booked us all in to see La Clique, a burlesque circus act currently playing at The Roundhouse. It was a good choice – although the lady magician who stripped stark naked during her act (and still managed to make the handkerchief disappear!) was probably an unusual highlight. Mofida’s face when she took off her g-string was priceless; she couldn’t believe she’d actually done it!

After the show we wondered down towards Camden, with Gavin and Rob H snowballing each other along the way, and ended up in the Strada just up from the Jazz Café.  As we were finishing our pizzas, I got a text message from Brett asking if I wanted to come down to The Edge (where he was partying with the Chorus boys), so as soon as we’d paid up at the restaurant, I hopped the Northern Line down to Soho.

The party had been organised as a going-away do for Richard D, one of our younger First Tenors who’s off to Canada with his job for a while.  He’d decided to make it a transvestite party – where everyone dressed as the opposite sex.  Sadly(?), because I’d come from work I wasn’t in drag – in fact I still had my walking boots on and longjohns under my jeans from this morning on Hampstead Heath!  Brett had dragged-up however, as had a number of other Chorus boys and they were quite the sight to see!  I hung around, enjoyed the fun and had a few more beers until we all got thrown out as the bar closed.  Our journey home on the nightbus, although longer than it might have been, was remarkably uneventful considering I was travelling with Norma Desmond in a blue-sequinned beret!

Saturday was a lazy day.  We all went down to the Stage Door Café for a full-English then came home, fully intending to do lots of housework, but somehow all I managed to do was laundry and upload all my photographs from Friday.  Mikey had been meant to come down for a few beers but he never showed, so we had a quiet evening in catching up on Burn Notice on Sky+.

Sunday was all about the Chorus.  We had a 1pm call to be at the Royal Festival Hall for a quick rehearsal, followed by a tech-run for the Sandi Toksvig Christmas Cracker show.  We’d started off planning to do four songs but apparently the show had run so long on it’s earlier nights (it’s been running since last week with different guest choirs) that they were cutting as much as possible so in the end we only did two songs.

Before that gig though we had one of our own in the Clore Ballroom underneath the main auditorium, where we did almost all of the repertoire from the Cadogan Hall show back on the 4th/5th December.  Ping was there to see us (he’d been in KL when we did Cadogan) and he enjoyed it for the most part.  I personally feel that while we were musically quite tight, we didn’t quite have the sparkle in some of the numbers that we had for the big show.

We had an hour and a half between our set in the Ballroom and the call for Sandi’s show, so Brett, Ping and I had a hog-roast ciabatta from the stall in the farmers market and did some catching up before we went to report in.

In the end I think we spent more time on stage waiting to perform than we actually did performing, but that’s show business…

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