Tasha’s ‘Threepenny Opera’ Blog No 10 – ‘Children Today, What Can We Say, Someone Didn’t Bring Them Up The Proper Way…’ (Kids Today)
After a week away from the dulcet tones of Mr Weill the ‘Threepenny’ team were reunited once again on Wednesday morning at our final venue, The West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds…I cannot believe how quickly that has come about, I guess time does fly when you are having fun! We certainly were thrown back into the swing of things with a wonderful bang (!) as we were introduced to our largest house of the tour with a foyer covered beautifully with our ‘activist’ banners and a canteen full of cake! (If you hadn’t already established…I like cake…a lot!)
Well, lots to report for this week so I’d best crack on…beginning with our final technical rehearsal of the tour. Tech days are often the source of much hilarity and this one was no exception! Sophie (Dolly) kicked off the comical proceedings when she managed to bang her head on her overhead microphone at the top of ‘Kids Today’ creating a monumental bang which subsequently caused her to fall off her little wooden foot stool and laugh her way through the remainder of the number…it did not, however, end there as so hilarious did she find this that she then toppled off the crate she was sitting on and dropped all of her saxophone accessories (and there are a lot!) on the floor! In the wise words of Barbara (Betty) “Member of Occupational Health for Sophie Byrne please!” This was gloriously followed by TJ (Walt) introducing himself to Polly as Walt Disney instead of Walt Dreary…this was probably more for our amusement….success!! He did however encounter a slight fail at the top of the Act 1 Finale with a wonderfully bum note on his cello…instant karma?! Meanwhile, the beggars of Peachum’s Emporium (Stacey, Stephen and Barbara) were busy swapping clothes and shoes and I (Lucy) managed to fall out of the prop bed in the dinner break whilst having a cheeky ‘spoon’ with Sophie and Stacey (Nellie)…in the words of Graeae’s Amit Sharma…IDIOT!!! The statement of the tech was provided by Rosie (ASM) who ‘innocently but boldly’ announced “I’ve got a screw, I just need a driver”…hmmm…bite your tongue Lewis! The tech day was rounded off perfectly by Ben’s (Jake’s) homemade Chocolate Oreo brownies and Dave’s (JK’s PA) gorgeous lemon drizzle cake…enough to rival any of Drew’s (Team Sound) fabulous baked goods…I feel a ‘Threepenny Bake Off’ coming on!! Wow, all that and we hadn’t even opened yet!
Moving on to Thursday’s dress rehearsal…following the intense tech on Wednesday…the show was in great shape ready for the dress and looked absolutely phenomenal on the Playhouse stage, needless to say that we were an excited bunch! In hindsight it was perhaps a bonus that the dress was there seeing as we hadn’t done the show in over a week and there were maybe a couple of creases to iron out! (RIP Ironing Board!) For one, TJ managed to ‘break music’ again in exactly the same place as the previous day…cue stifled giggles from all! (I would like to clarify that this was a freak coincidence and did not continue for the remainder of the week!) He did, however, then develop a severe case of ‘slippery fingers’ as he failed to keep hold of his harpsichord legs, consistently dropping them in spectacular slapstick fashion…beautiful! I then found it necessary to, completely obliviously, blow my nose in the wings in every gap in Macheath and Tiger Brown’s dialogue…apparently rather loudly…creating more ripples of hysteria amongst the band on stage…sorry guys! This was topped perfectly by Joe (Bob) who then missed his cue to bring on Macheath’s asparagus due to him teasing me about said nose blowing incident…brilliant! Oh, and Garry (Mr Peachum) thought it was wise to go out of his way to pinch me while exiting his scene in Act 2, only to subsequently collide with my stationary trombone stand …never mess with ‘Team Bone’ Mr P!
Having said all of the above, we then opened on Thursday evening to a sensational audience and banged out a pretty marvellous show so well done all. It was also lovely to be reunited with directors Pete and Jenny (Bonnie & Clyde) on Friday before Press Night and thankfully they were full of their usual support and praise…even though Milton (Macheath) managed to fall up the auditorium steps after failing to stop his phone from ringing with its particularly jaunty tune during the notes session, Victoria (Mrs Peachum) was busted for having a cheeky snooze and Moby (CSM) was having fabulous fun filing his nails with Macheath’s flick knife…great stuff! Needless to say, Press Night was another cracking show and we were treated by the WYP Team to a lovely little soiree in the bar afterwards.
The remainder of the week (that being Saturday!) was a roaring success and it was lovely to be back in the swing of things…even though Milton did the majority of Act 1 with a particularly ‘fly away’ prosthetic scar…rip it off TJ!!…Pickles (Matt) managed to save his rogue drum stick during the Act 2 Finale and CiCi (Polly) managed to wear her funeral dress backwards while I was busy hitting Barbara in the head with my trombone in the Act 3 Finale! John (Narrator) decided to chase CiCi round the stage for the duration of Saturday’s warm up…aptly accompanied by Sophie on tenor sax with the Benny Hill theme tune…and then enjoyed a fantastic impromptu Hawaiian guitar solo note at the end of the Pimp’s Tango later that evening. I have to say, however, that the epic fail of the week went to me (see, I do shame myself too!!) for managing to remain on stage, by myself, fixated on the cheering audience…even after the curtain call had finished and the remainder of the cast were vacating the stage…wally!
In other news, the company congregated for a ‘Save The ILF’ photo on Saturday, we said a happy hello to our new member of Team Sound, Tom and a sad goodbye to Dave (JK’s lovely cake-bearing PA). A few of us trotted off to the gorgeous City Varieties Theatre on Sunday to support our director Pete Rowe’s other fab show ‘Miss Nightingale’ which was glorious, and then found ourselves, completely accidentally, in Akbar’s Indian Restaurant where we celebrated yet another birthday for Stacey…more happy returns than the Queen that one!!
…And breathe!! Well that’s it from me for now…I look forward to reporting on our penultimate week of the tour…very sad face…oh, and if anyone asks, Moby fell over due to excessive roller blading, true story!!…Bye!
#SaveTheILF #3popera #BecauseWeAreWorthIt
Natasha Lewis…aka…Lucy Brown.