I had a brilliant Valentine’s night last night, taking out all pressure to be sexy. At the mid point of Sexy February I was in my trainers and a long scarf of my mum’s, not drinking in a pub in Kentish Town, and doing it in fantastic company. Robyn, my princess, was having her last day in town. She was Phoebe to my Silvius in As You Like It for Sprite. Still one of my favourite ever jobs. I made loads of great friends, including a sheep. She now lives in New York and was over with her man for way too short a time. I stayed at her place on the Lower East Side a few years ago and we rode the Staten Island Ferry back and forth because it’s free. I pounded the summer streets for days and learnt that town a little. There was a bin strike and God the city was feeling it. I’m looking forward to going back some time soon, when it doesn’t stink. The piles of bags were a remarkable thing to see, but not in the least pleasant to smell.
We said goodbye to her and then Emma and Maddy and Steve got me dinner which is a frustratingly familiar state of affairs at the moment. When I “get paid” I’m going to have a lovely couple of weeks seeing friends and repaying their generosities. I even got a rose.
For the rest of the evening a good sized bunch of actors and old friends fantasised about the huge mansion we are all going to buy in Rochester and turn into a performance venue and live there and make beautiful things. This morning I bought a lottery ticket to make sure we can all afford it. We’ll have indoor theatres and outdoor theatres and puppet theatres and paint rooms. It’s going to be awesome. We just need 1.7 million. Peanuts…
I woke up bright and early to a sunny morning. I didn’t have to be in rehearsal until twelve so buoyed up from my lovely evening and the fact I felt great because I wasn’t hung over, I frolicked out the door in my sunglasses and walked to St James’ Park, leaving messages on people’s phones about the glorious day. More or less the moment my foot hit the grass of the park, the heavens opened and a wall of grey cloud bullied in. Five minutes later I was utterly drenched, it having somehow not occurred to me to seek shelter. I still had my sunglasses on. I couldn’t shake the conviction that it was a nice day despite all evidence to the contrary. I arrived at my rehearsal in the dark, soaked to the skin, still wearing mirrored shades, looking like a prat.
Last run in the little room. We are too big for it now so it’s time to get up north. An unexpected audience-friend made for a special last run and I’m really looking forward to hitting the final week now and meeting the youth cast, the orchestra, the crew… Next week is going to be lots of work and lots of waiting. I’m bringing a thick book, my usual optimism, a motorcycle helmet and about .50p.