You’ve got to hand it to those media savvy types, sitting atop swiss balls in ergonomic offices in Soho, twiddling their branded pencils and wondering what format to butcher next. And then Five pops up with Don’t Stop Believing, lovingly ripped off from the current craze for American import Glee. And I’m not quite sure what to think of the whole affair.
Despite Emma Bunton’s endearing support and good feelings for the singing groups, her lack of charisma or charm as a presenter is hard to come to terms with. At least Graham Norton had a cheeky glint in his eye as each rejected Dorothy was hoisted into the sky, having been told to keep all limbs firmly inside the ‘moon’ until they landed safely in the dusty storage cage in the roof.
And then we meet the ‘judges’ who seem to think everyone is wonderful and they’ll all go on to enjoy huge careers in the showchoir world - which I’m sure does exist but whether a huge career can be enjoyed within it is another matter entirely. Perhaps the sound is just particularly bad in transmission and better live in the studio, but I defy Anastacia (definite contender for Most Random Choice for a Judge Award 2010) to sit in my lounge and tell me they were all singing in tune and hit the notes “pitch perfect”. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve blasted out Left Outside Alone and danced around the kitchen many times pondering how she does that eerie operatic bit at the top of the song, but I sometimes wonder if my signal has been intercepted by alien tuning forks and I’m watching a totally different performance to those on the panel.
In other news, I’m looking forward to a week off soon to get stuck into rehearsals for the 2010 season. It’ll be great to get back with the company and we’ve got a brilliant cast who I’m sure will make the most of James Graham’s marvellous script. And in true busman’s holiday style, I’m getting to see a list of shows I’ve been meaning to get to for ages but haven’t found the time. After the already pencilled in post rehearsal drinks (any excuse!), I’ll be enjoying State Fair, Into the Woods, Dirty Dancing and finishing the week with Whoopi back in her habit at the Palladium - jump for joy!
And I was thrilled to hear Complicite will be enjoying some time in the West End. A great company bringing such a visceral piece of theatre into town is a massive boost to the diversity of shows on offer and I hope audiences respond well. And with imminent transfers from Chichester as well as Lend Me a Tenor arriving fresh from Plymouth, it looks like the West End will enjoy a bit of a shake up.
During a mid morning break sat in the garden, I was flicking through the 2010 Ed Fest brochure today and was amazed at the number of shows on offer - over 2500! Don’t panic, I didn’t sit there and count, instead I shamelessly pulled the figure from the internet. And with such titles as Obama Mia, Your Little Princess is my Little Whore and ‘Ave a Banana, (which I’d love to be the new title of the ill-fated Monkees musical) I’m sure crowds are in for a month of classics.
Finally, as an unforeseen combination of holidays and injury almost cripples the War Horse cast, here’s a huge hoorah to all the swings and covers, without whom, shows wouldn’t run so smoothly during times of chaos.