I intended to post this yesterday, but I have had a rather testing weekend.
I was kept awake for the duration by a local 'music' festival. We are lucky (depending on your viewpoint) to have in the vicinity a large natural 'bowl' in the landscape (once the scene of an alien crop circle bearing the legend "Matt Le Tissier for England"). This is often the location for various events, including the "Homelands" music festival, a sort of poor-man's-Glastonbury. This year's festival was called, seemingly without any hint of irony, "Sanctuary". Ha! I would have found more sanctuary in having my claws slowly pulled out by a group of cats, accompanied by the sound of a five year-old attempting to play the violin.
I am a lover of many different types of music: classical; soul; rock; jazz (of course); funk; I love them all, and more. However, being kept awake for several nights by trance music echoing off the hillside is not my idea of pleasant. The dull thud of "doof-doof-doof-doo-doo-doof..." was the source of much irritation. If I had wanted to hear that b*ll*cks, I would simply have headbutted my partner's father's car and danced around to the sound of the car alarm. It would be just as harmonious. Grrrowl.
As if these trials were not enough, I have now entered an intensive rehearsal period for Oliver!. I am appearing, in the role for which I was born, as 'Bullseye' - this will be my third production in which I take that part. This one is for a boys' school, although performed on a professional stage. The first night is on Thursday, so things are understandably fraught. The boys are all extremely nice. Each part (including the ladies') is taken by a young boy, but they are all extremely good. They all like me very much, which (naturally) I do not play up to. I overheard them saying to my partner "Your dog is really cool", which is the highest form of praise a nine year old boy can bestow. Heh heh. But popularity comes at a price. Today they were all making me try on different hats. I was, by turns, a baker, a pickpocket, a young gentleman, a serving-girl, an army officer, several ladies and a milkmaid. My partner did nothing to assist me, but laughed indulgently at the children as I cast her silent looks of thunder.
My Bill Sikes is called Nick. He is very nice (although he also made me wear his hat. Actually, that one looked good on me). I will admit that it is harder for me to get into character when there is not a lovely young lady playing Nancy (whom Bullseye valiantly endeavours to save, tragically arriving moments too late) but the director seems pleased with my work. I shall share pictures if I can. Many have been taken of me, but I might not be able to put my paws on them. I will, of course, keep the blog updated with how the performances proceed.
Today has been a sad day in our little town. The milkman was killed at @5.30am very near our house. It was on the news and everything and the road was closed all morning. In a particularly cruel twist of irony, it was the large delivery truck from the dairy that crashed into his little milk float and killed him. We heard the two loud bangs of the accident. The postman was on the scene as it happened and tried valiantly to save the milkman but there was nothing that he could do. There are some flowers by the smashed-up wall now. The thoughts of the whole town are with those that suffer, and with him that now rests in peace.