My living room is full of clothes. I’m back on the sofa tonight. Got to pack for a week in Manchester, but right now I’m stuffed with reduced pork medallions and gravy, and Darren and I are eating ginger biscuits. Rock and fucking Roll, sexy February.

I managed to persuade my bank to return the deposit from the van hire early, and then timed my trip to Tesco perfectly to get all the reduced stuff. Hence the (relative) feast. There’s a .76p packet of bacon for breakfast too. If the reduced Gods hadn’t been kind, the other option for dinner would’ve been too stark to contemplate. Darren woke me up this morning throwing two Pot Noodles onto the bed. “I nicked these at work for ya.” he said. My mouth said “Thanks.” My stomach wasn’t so sure. Although I did a few days on weetabix with hot water and Heinz Baked Beans and still made it to work. Pot Noodles have got PEAS in them. They’re practically a vegetable, no?

Today was another rehearsal day. I walked in through the sunshine. Such a beautiful morning. There were the stems of daffodils poking up in the morning light in St James’ Park. Soon now they’ll bloom, colour will come back, and the cold will be banished again.

I’m still loving this process, which is why I’m not too concerned about coming into rehearsal a lot more than I expected to. James has a great director’s eye, and the young actors are ace. Maria is a Welsh redhead with brilliant attack. Tony is a Scotsman with such an upper body that his movement is restricted, but a gorgeous tenor. They look right together. And she climbs down from the balcony to him, which I love. The songs are taking shape too. There’s some real beauty in this. It’s a funny sparky lot. Lots of different accents body types and backgrounds, but everyone competent. And right now it’s just a load of people in their own clothes in a room. Up in Manchester they’re building a set and sourcing loads of costumes and props. Next week we’ll be airlifted into context with all the production and lights and colours. There’s always a physical shift when I first wear my costume and put the shoes on etc. In my process it informs the movement patterns of the guy I’m playing. Clothes tend to want to be worn a certain way. I’m looking forward to finding out how I can combine this strange messy psycho with whatever they give me to wear.

I took this photo while they were rehearsing “Somewhere.” It’s an illustration of the difference between rehearsal and performance. The song is glorious, and there won’t be a dry eye in the house. But a rehearsal snap out of context is just a load of people standing in a room while more people sit behind a table thinking, or writing notes and emails.


To be honest, I wrote some good emails too, around the time I took that crap picture. Even got a reply. That’s unheard of!! Sexy February continues…

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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