Tasha’s ‘Threepenny Opera’ Blog No 4 – ‘This calls for the mailed fist, sergeant sound the alarm!’
After four glorious weeks of rehearsals, teching and shows it was time to bid farewell to the wonderful Nottingham Playhouse. This venue was always going to be particularly poignant being our first and we couldn’t have asked for a better kick start to the tour.
With the show ever evolving and continuing to grow from strength to strength it was deemed necessary for the company to start filling their days….this week saw Pickles (Matt), Garry (Mr Peachum) and Stephen (Ned) taking in a cheeky football match at Notts Country FC, Sonia (Maisie) and Sophie (Dolly) sporting fancy new hair dos courtesy of a ‘Tony & Guy’ pampering session, Stacey (Nellie), myself (Lucy) and Sophie joining the Nottingham locals for a spot of comedy aqua aerobics (it’s harder than it looks!) and upon discovering the gem of the vintage shop ‘Baklash’ a good proportion of us invested in an array of bargain leather jackets…Milton (Macheath), however, did not stop there and left Nottingham with a whole new colourful and eclectic wardrobe! Simultaneously, the company were treated to the magic fingers of Rina Fatania, deep tissue massage extraordinaire who worked wonders with all of the company random aches and pains…however, she would have done well to advise caution to calamity Milton regarding the misuse of tiger balm in the upper thigh area! Fail!!! Amidst all of this jam packed action it has to be said that the social events of the week were the superbly organised and delicious company curry, courtesy of Joey Hickman (completely redeeming himself for ‘post office-gate’!) and Saturday’s sensational folk jam session in the CAST bar led by our own Garry Robson…fantastic!! (Meanwhile, CiCi (Polly) discovered the art of more fine dining…Domino’s anyone??!!)
We were delivered a particularly upsetting blow of bad news on Thursday when we learned that the government funding for the ‘ILF’ (Independent Living Fund) is to be closed despite battles by disabled people to keep it open and a landmark victory over the government in the High Courts in November. This funding is integral to the control of the lifestyle of disabled people who require support in their everyday routines. With this funding scheme comes a freedom and independence that can only be obtained when individuals are given control of their own support and given a choice with regards to what that would entail. Everybody is unique and so, therefore, are their routines. The ‘ILF’, along with local authorities, enables each situation to be addressed separately so that each individual concerned can maintain their own support package to live independently and this is addressed in a manner of relevance that only the person concerned could decide. Read more about the closure of the ILF here: http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2014/03/independent-living-fund-closure-we-fight-on/.
So, how ironic that we should be performing the platform of political speech that is ‘The Threepenny Opera’ and in true anarchic style ‘Save the ILF’ appeared on a placard in the show within minutes of this appalling decision being announced in Thursday’s matinee. The battle has begun…..#SaveTheILF #BecauseWe_R_Worth_It
On a lighter note, we are always partial to the odd on/off stage idiosyncrasies and this week definitely did not disappoint! This hilariously began as early as the pre-show one evening when one particularly enthusiastic patron embraced the ‘activist approach’ and shouted to some to “get back to prison”…it was later discovered that said patron was in fact Will’s (Tiger Brown’s) Dad! Brilliant! This was topped by Barbara’s (Betty’s) ‘fake swelling’ inflating so rapidly that it burst…while still attached to her back! Stephen (Ned) managed to choke on a bread roll during the gang scene and giggle his way through his monumental line…glorious!! John (Narrator) treated us to a spot of improvisation as he accidentally gave us an extra ‘Big Ben Bell Gong’ prior to Macheath’s execution while I managed to sign the ‘Socrates Song’ confidently but slightly prematurely on Saturday evening. Max (Jimmy) proceeded to rewrite the script on Friday, when asked “if he had any notion what a gentleman is?” He sublimely replied “I know the one I difference between one and a lay,”
This way subsequently equalled in full force by Amelia (Jenny) who relocated the whores from Drury Lane to ‘Dooby Lane’ prior to the ‘Epitaph’…lovely stuff! I end the comic mishaps by exposing Milton and TJ (Smith) as this week’s ‘premature bowers’ in the Curtain Call…see Joe (Bob), you’re not the only one!
Backstage antics have been developing in full force this week with ‘stylised choreography’ in the wings during the beautiful ‘Socrates Song’, slightly more risqué movement to the ‘Coronation drumming’ from Babs, myself, Amelia and Victoria (Mrs Peachum) and the inspired, ever growing back story of Smith (TJ Holmes) who has become an ambassador for dental hygiene…Oh, and Max proved himself ever thoughtful by volunteering his prosthetic arm to Sophie so that she could retrieve her pound coin from under the theatre deli counter…thank you!
We had a visit from our directors Pete and Jenny this week to keep us in check and ensure that we were still doing the same show that they had originally produced! It was lovely to see them again and fabulous for Victoria who was encouraged by Pete in the midnight notes session to hit Garry significantly harder than she already had been!
That’s it from me for now, but I will say a huge thank you and a sad goodbye to The Playhouse for being such warm and accommodating hosts and a highly anticipated ‘hello’ to the New Wolsey, Ipswich. See you next week!
PS…One word of advice…never leave your iPhone unattended in the presence of Ben Goffe (Jake) or Amelia…latest victims…Sophie Byrne and Victoria Oruwari respectively…people, you have been warned! Bye!!
Natasha Lewis…aka…Lucy Brown.