So, we’re eight weeks into rehearsal for the 30th anniversary show. It’s going well. As each week goes by my confidence is improving. I genuinely feel I can do this now in a positive way.
And then…Armageddon night.
Me and my sister, Jane, are fronting a big company number. It’s a cheeky chappie Cockernee number from The Matchgirls by Bill Owen (Incidentally my Dad’s all time favourite). The La di Dah it’s called. Now the music is relatively straightforward, the only non harmonised number in the show. Why’s that you ask?
I’ll tell you why shall I?
Because it has a frickin dance routine to learn instead.
Picture the scene tonight…
50 able, expressive, flexible, aware, engaged, bouncy, chatty, inspiring, lovely, charming, eager, noisy dancers.
Not just me…there.
Me in the front row.
Not just me in the front row, me in the middle of the front row.
The focus of the dance; alongside my sister who missed it all because she was in a meeting.
I am to dance, seriously, as Harold Shipman is to nursing homes. I am the Eddie the Eagle Edwards of choreography. John Sargeant is like Rudolph fucking Nuryev. And there I am leading this number.
I promise you it is not for the faint hearted. Poor old Lynne (the choreographer) smiled at me benignly throughout the evening, no doubt thinking “Oh shit, I know he said he was shit but this is like, preshittinposterous.”
But bless her, she looked like she thought she could get me through it.
Unquestionably the highlight of the evening was when Lynne directed us, led by me, to barge, yes barge, from the front of the stage to the back, through the ladies, in a choreographic manifestation of young Cockernees gatecrashing a toffs party in Knightsbridge.
“Run, run, run, as if you were horses.” she directed.
I did. I did. Passionately and absolutely in tune with the school of Method acting.
Unfortunately my ‘horse’ was more hippolean and my poor pal Geraldine was suddenly, horrifically exposed in the line of fire, thrust assunder, smashed into a sort of pulp; trampled frankly. But it’s only bruising. It shall diminish.
Well, 10 weeks to go. I might be OK. Hmmm.
When I came home and told Jeana I was fronting the La Di Dah dance she just burst out laughing. She could immediately picture the scenes of wanton destruction.
It’s no longer the la di dah, where I’m involved it’s the Blitzkreig Bop.
Yes that’s what it is. The Blitzkreig Bop.
(Rubble and that. Human rubble.)
Survivors crying for help under a pile of bodies after I brought them tumbling down due to an unfortunate left turn whilst everyone else turned right.