I may have three exams this week (it’s not actually a question of “may”. I do) but I am still celebrating the jubilee! Mostly by listening to BBC coverage and feeling a mixture of gladness and disappointment that I couldn’t get down to London to see the flotilla and the concert.
The pageant was great, even on a little tiny laptop screen over video link. I’m a fan of the Thames and I love watching boats – a month or so ago I went down to London to see a Gilbert and Sullivan semi-staged performance and insisted on visiting HMS Belfast afterwards – but I’m not a fan of enormous crowds so perhaps it was best that I had to stay home with my textbooks.
The concert is… well. I think I was rather spoiled by being brought up in the folk world, where people sing in tune during their live performances and don’t use autotune on their recordings. I’m sure the crowd are having a lot of fun but good grief are some of the acts out of tune. Poor Queenie. There are some nice moments interspersed though – the classical performers, even classical performers singing the sort of cliched Classic FM highlights that have been selected for tonight, tend to be a bit more technically adept than pop stars who build their careers on flashy outfits and television interviewers.
Anyway. It is a nice distraction from international law revision. I feel as though I haven’t done much revision for this subject, but I realised when I looked over the syllabus that I’ve actually covered every topic in a reasonable amount of detail. I began revising quite early for this one, on the grounds that I didn’t understand anything at all, so hopefully tomorrow’s exam will go well. Two more after that, and then I’m finally free!
Now seems as good a time as any to write about Friday’s trip to see Singing in the Rain. It was a late birthday gift from Sarah, Henry and Stumo. Friday happened to be the only day we could all go, thanks to Sarah and Henry’s Real Person jobs, my gallivanting off to America for the summer, and everyone’s general commitments, so I put down my flashcards and went. Stumo and I grabbed some dinner from Maoz, which was totally delicious, then met the others at the theatre.
The show was completely new to me, other than the signature song. It took me a few minutes to work out what was going on, and we had fairly terrible seats – not so much a problem with the seats themselves, to be honest, although there was an inherent problem with the forestage disappearing underneath the edge of the balcony, but more a problem with the woman sat in front of me with enormous fluffy white hair. Eventually we shuffled around sufficiently that we could all see properly (fortunately there were spare seats on our row) and I could see the amazing dancing and the gorgeous costumes as well as hearing the singing.
I remain unconvinced as to the plot merits of the show, but it’s not really a plot-based musical. It was basically a dance extravaganza with an incredible rainstorm at the end of each act. I was wearing my stage manager hat trying to imagine how on earth they got away with the risk assessment for the ankle-deep water during the titular dance and song number, and we were all very impressed with the efficient and thorough (but rather incongrously plastic) mopping by members of the crew in full costume. It put to shame the trials that we had with the canal we built for a production of the Gondoliers a couple of years ago.
Going to see the show was the first thing on my list of “Things to Look Forwards To” (genuinely – it’s stuck to the top of my desk as a motivator). The rest of the list runs though a bunch of special choir events, garden parties, trips to various parts of the country, a few days at my mum’s, my friends’ graduation ceremony, a friend’s wedding, and finally the tour in America. It’s rather alarming to think that it’s already June. In just over five weeks I’ll be in the States, and in just under seven weeks I’ll be heading over to Indiana for the summer, armed with a sheaf of contacts for my dissertation research and a calendar of exciting things to do.