I know, where have I been? I’ve been busy, that’s where I’ve been, mostly in a rehearsal room in Kennington, big up to the deli ‘Sally White’s’ on Kennington Rd btw for providing much needed victuals in an area that is otherwise a gastronomic desert.
Thanks too, to the police for providing us with the spectacle of a drugs raid complete with guns and dogs on the block of flats over the road, South London you never let me down.
Rehearsal rooms are strange places, mostly in peculiar locations, this one was a big old youth club/ gym – where not only we Grumpies were being put through our paces, but other productions were doing their thing too, The RSC were rehearsing ‘Peter and Wendy’ in a room upstairs and the ‘Strangers on A Train’ cast were seen loitering down the corridors, including my lovely friend Imogen Stubbs – and the dishy Laurence Fox (causing a bit of a stir).
Getting a Grumpy show on the road is no small potatoes, if we didn’t have a director in the shape of a Saint on earth (Owen Lewis), we ladies would have torn our hair out and run to the hills by now, massive credit too, to the designer Susannah Henry, who is quite simply, a genius.
This third show of the Grumpy trilogy has more visuals than most audiences expect, if you’ve never seen a Grumpy show before, rest assured, it’s not three women talking on chairs, there is quite a lot of action and – may I say, some stunts.
Anyway, it’s been all consuming and so a relief to get it onto the road, this 9 date try out tour is a test run for next year, thanks to this dummy run, Judith
(my co-writer) and I can get a really good idea about what works and where to cut. At the moment we are fifteen minutes overlong, which gives us the luxury of getting rid of any flab.
When I was younger, I used to hate editing stuff, but I’m really looking forward to giving this show the final polish for next year’s tour. It’s like a good pair of shoes, it deserves some spit and a good rub!
Talking shoes, yes, I did buy some leopard print slippers, (Pretty Ballerina), I also bought a bright orange cardigan (Cos), but apart from that, the hotels we have been staying at whilst on tour have been miles away from the shops so I have spared myself a gigging spree – which is no bad thing.
Have to say only the Hallmark Hotel in Bournemouth has been worthy of any decent word of mouth, kind staff-edible food, whereas a recent Hilton stank of old piss. As I write, I’m in a hotel in Aldershot which despite charging £140 for a double room does not do lattes – forgive me if I’m sounding like a bit of a twatte but I just can’t believe how gruesome and expensive these places can be.
Culture wise I have squeezed in a visit to the new Zaha Hadid designed Sackler gallery – where I enjoyed Adrian Rojas’s work (see elephant photo).
Seen the film The Selfish Giant, excellent but bleak, and hugely enjoyed my first trip to the Park Theatre a spit away from Finsbury Park, where I saw the rather wonderful ‘Adult Supervision’, which had a knock out cast, some great writing and lovely direction. I also saw the Gala performance of One Man Two Guvnors – starring my little panto pal Kellie Shirley, who was on fire that night – and a delight to watch – we had posh drinks after in a v dark night club where I kept losing my handbag!
I also attended Nicolas Parsons’ 90th birthday, a celebration that was so lovely it made me cry!
Mind you I cried at Jolene and Kenton’s wedding on the Archers the other week, so fuck knows what’s wrong with me.
Anyway must trot, I am going for a swim – time to tackle the fatness