​BLOG: FROM CHAIRDROBE TO FLOORDROBE


I have spent ten days in Holland, which was nowhere near long enough to do everything I needed/wanted to do, even without the flu that’s been keeping me in bed for several days.
 
A week and a half ago I woke up with virtually no voice, and the knowledge I had to sing Wuthering Heights on national television later that same day. Not the best way to wake up. Luckily, as time passed it got slightly better, and by midday my GP and I decided not to use any aggressive drugs. The people at Tijd voor MAX were wonderful, and I thoroughly enjoyed being at the show. It was too bad I wasn’t feeling too well after that day; I could have written a nice blog about it.
 
Yesterday, we had a show at the Harlequin Theatre in Redhill (Surrey). Jerney had a show in Holland, so she wouldn’t be there. Her dep Arianne lives in London. Louis and I decided to drive to Arianne on Friday, stay over at her house, and drive to the theatre from there on Saturday.
 
On Friday morning, as planned, Louis left his house in Almere around 9 and was at mine at 10, as planned. So far so good. Of course there is always something weird with this band though, so I always book a flexible ticket for the ferry. Which usually turns out to be a good thing. That day, with my flu-infused brain, I was running late and still needed to get some cat food when Louis arrived. We weren’t in that much of a hurry, so we went to the supermarket. So after I had locked us out of my house, asked my neighbours if I could climb over their fence to break into my house and got the cat food, we could finally leave at 10:45. Before we got on the motorway, I checked if I had my passport, because – as I said out loud, luckily – travelling has become so normal that I need to remind myself I need to bring my passport. To which Louis replied: “Eh, you say passport…” as he started searching his pockets. So we got in a traffic jam on the way to Louis’ house to pick up his passport. By the time we left it was noon, and because a lot of Germans had a day off and apparently were crowding Dutch and Belgian motorways, we had the joy of hopping from one traffic jam to the next all afternoon and all the way to Calais.
 
On the other side of the Channel, the satnav sent us to the wrong street. Apparently, there are various streets with the same name in London, and it took us a long time (and a long traffic jam) before we found out. By the time we arrived at Arianne’s place, we were knackered from a drive so long it could have almost brought us all the way to Liverpool.
 
On Saturday though, the drive to the theatre was only about 45 minutes. We decided to leave early too, because the three of us prefer being early on a show day. We had coffee before we went to the theatre, and we were still a lot earlier than the rest. Arianne used to be my backing vocalist years ago, but for this show she has only had one band rehearsal and one rehearsal with our director, so it was good to be early, not to have to stress out and have some time to go through some of the songs (including staging).
 
Apart from my voice and body still not being in great shape, there wasn’t much stress for me that day. I think the biggest problem I encountered was my usual quick change spot being in the middle of the emergency escape route. The guys from the venue were very helpful though, and together we looked at the best spot for my wardrobe area. They offered me things like clothes racks and all, but I can’t work with those. I don’t need much space, I just have a huge stack of clothes on a chair. To which the guys replied that they were big supporters of “chairdrobe”. And of “floordrobe”. So they loved it when I told them throughout the show my chairdrobe turns into a floordrobe.
 
The setup in the theatre made it impossible for me to see anyone in the audience for 90% of the time: there was a huge gap between the stage and the audience. We joked that it would make a great lake for Hounds of Love if we could fill it with water. There was even one man dancing in that area for the majority of the show. It’s always a bit of a shame if the audience is that far away, but I did manage to get off stage and into the audience to make up for it at the end of the second set. Arianne has done a great job; in this show the backing vocalist actually plays a couple of small parts too, so it’s not only a difficult job vocally, but it needs a lot of focus and attention to detail to not miss any cues.
 
All and all, we had a great show. Though it would have been great to finish the drawing we made at the white board in the green room (see photo). PS those things in the lake are abviously shoes and not ducks!

1 comment

  • listeningcat

    listeningcat audience

    Another great show. Venue seemed a bit soulless though, as you say the gap didn't help although the freaky dancer did, hats off to him! The actual stage floor looked bleak from where I was sat, perhaps because I was higher up and further away than usual, or was it really as scruffy as it looked? I felt it would have been cosier if the band hadn't been right at the back, but maybe it had to be that way. Again, this may not be practical, but some sort of backdrop, and even something on parts of the floor (hazardous for dancing?) would be worth considering on that sort of stage. Thanks, you are all marvelous, keep dreaming.

    Another great show. Venue seemed a bit soulless though, as you say the gap didn't help although the freaky dancer did, hats off to him! The actual stage floor looked bleak from where I was sat, perhaps because I was higher up and further away than usual, or was it really as scruffy as it looked? I felt it would have been cosier if the band hadn't been right at the back, but maybe it had to be that way. Again, this may not be practical, but some sort of backdrop, and even something on parts of the floor (hazardous for dancing?) would be worth considering on that sort of stage. Thanks, you are all marvelous, keep dreaming.

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