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Oliver! bill board at the Theatre Royal, Drury...

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What a busy few weeks.

Occasionally I find myself with so much to do that I don’t know if I’m coming or going. Usually this is because during the quiet months of the year when life seems a little dull, I say yes to any and all offers of fun or work later in the year. This has meant that September so far has been unrelenting.

On Friday last week was a concert for our church flower festival. Billed as a talent show, it was really a variety evening with all sorts from card tricks to songs to poems being performed by members of the parish. Including me. I did a little number with the choral director which included a feather boa and a brolly. It was lots of fun and I think it went down well.  I also read one of lovely Rupert’s poems. Not my first reading of his work, but the first of The Old Vicarage, Grantchester which was so enjoyed by one member of the audience that I was asked to make a recording of his work!
The highlight of the evening for me though was my young protegé of twelve and a half who let rip his beautiful treble voice for the first time in front of anyone except his mother or me. And he just blew me away. Listening back on a very scratchy tape recording made last-minute, I was stunned at how well he’s come along in just 18 months. He is a joy to teach and I’m sure I’ll be writing about him and his achievements here in the future.
After our evening of music we sat and drank with the vicar and his wife, the church warden and various and sundry in the George and Dragon. I may have found myself another wee boy treble to teach after a mother heard aforementioned protegé’s performance. Here’s hoping…

Saturday took Edward and me to Norwich to see Clare where we had a magical evening at the ballet seeing Matthew Bourne‘s outstanding production of Swan Lake. Many people try to convince me that having front row tickets is not always the best seat in the house. Perhaps they think so, but being able to see every emotion played out in the face of the tragic prince makes any craning of necks worth while. I have attempted to draft three blog posts so far to try to explain just how this production affects me. It is impossible. Words cannot describe just how perfect it is.
Prior to the dance we went to the assembly rooms at Norwich just next to the theatre for supper. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the lovely waiter who served us. We couldn’t stop looking at you because you reminded us of the wonderful Samuel Barnett of History Boys fame. (Plenty of him about on BBC iPlayer at the moment… )

Returning home took me back to church for an evening of hymns though I had a rather sore throat by that stage. A good old Rutter anthem flung in for good measure made for a pack of strepsils when I got back.

Monday took me to London for training on a new computer system with SSAFA Forces Help. Staying at the Union Jack Club me and the lady I went with hopped off to take in a performance of Oliver! at Drury Lane. Apparently this is coming to a close in January so if you want to see it with Gwion Wyn Jones – a gorgeous Welsh Oliver – then book in now. We were enchanted of course, and I smiled to know that Matthew Bourne also had a hand in this show. I was a bit miffed to know however, that another member of our SSAFA branch met a rather key member of the production whilst we were at the show…and got given a free ticket for last night’s performance and a bunch of freebies for the charity. Alas! My career writing musicals isn’t quite ready to take off yet…perhaps next time…

Now I’m back in rainy Derbyshire, sitting in a French bistro drinking coffee. No students tonight due to some timing errors in the London trip, but I think that may be a good thing. Time to digest and mull over everything that’s happened.

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