As shattered as I am (obviously this is pretty much all my fault for the late nights!) I’ll definitely miss this little routine once we’re done.
One of the aims of this challenge week when Jess devised it was to encourage repeat attendance at shows – and obviously Sunny Afternoon in particular. I like to think we’ve done a pretty good job so far! I mean, my infamy has now spread to BBC Radio 2 listeners, since John’s interview on Steve Wright’s afternoon show on Thursday…
We almost didn’t manage to complete the fifth challenge, as there was a bit of a mix up with the dates – but the Harold Pinter FOH staff are nothing if not accommodating. And entertaining! I can imagine that hearing & seeing the same thing night after night (for more than just a week, and because you have to!) could actually end up being a real chore if you didn’t enjoy a) the work, and b) this particular show. Luckily, the passion for Sunny Afternoon and working in this industry seems to be there in spades! We asked a handful of the staff for their one-word reviews; my favourite was probably ‘uplifting’.
Jess & I found a weirdly addictive new activity today: Sunny Afternoon stick drawings! Inspired partly by the awesome Oliviers postcard, and also by Jess’ mum thinking that’s how we were going to re-create the artwork. I know I’m going to do a few more over the weekend, but here’s my selection so far:
I was slightly disappointed going in to sit in stalls M9 – I definitely prefer the front block or up to row H. You do feel more involved, plus I like seeing the stage up close. But, row M isn’t actually as far back as you think – plus you get a view of the entire stage, including the hanamichi (or the catwalk, to most people)! I got lucky, as I was sat between two people’s shoulders, and didn’t really have heads in the way; Jess was not so fortunate.
This was probably my favourite night of the week so far, actually. Being a bit further back gave me more choice of what to watch, so I took advantage of being able to see what goes on in the background (for example, Ned & Adam during Dead End Street). Happily, I could still hear the hotel checking-in scene – it’s a lot of nonsense, but Adam in particular always manages to give me a chuckle!
Despite a number of phones going off (grr!), and a very annoying woman in front of us constantly blowing her nose (during the quiet bits, too!), there was a great atmosphere in the auditorium this time. And most seemed to appreciate the things I appreciate, so I wasn’t just cackling away on my own.
Quote of the night: “It buzzes like a biscuit tin!”
Song of the night: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy’ – despite their very long day (Oliviers rehearsals!) everyone seemed on top form, and being able to see Pete in his big moment just made my night. It was an especially emotional rendition, which obviously reduced me to a sobbing wreck!
Scene of the night: Ray’s various phone calls – in particular Mick, being fed up & a bit passive aggressive towards Dave, as well as revelling in Dave being put down by Ray, plus Pete’s many & varied reasons for wanting to leave the band!
#drumsolo view rating: 4.9/5 – absolutely perfect view, I just would prefer to be closer!
‘Stage Door Daily’ today features assistant choreography Emily Goodenough!
Favourite choreography: You Really Got Me – Pan’s People style dancers backing The Kinks performing on Top of the Pops – it didn’t take Emily long to decide this was her favourite!
The actresses definitely have a lot on their plates! As Jess mentioned a couple of days ago, it can’t be easy being a female member of the ensemble in a male-dominated show such as this, but they all do a stellar job. They’re there in the background for nearly all of the first 45 minutes, in between quickfire costume changes.
One of my favourite moments in the show is straight after Set Me Free, where Emily’s character gets a tad overexcited & jumps on Ray (“Jonah, Jonah – livewire!”). Another highlight is her short tap solo, in combination with Adam’s drumming in Denmark Street – she even gets a credit for it on the official cast recording! Her smile lights up the stage; things would definitely be a lot less Sunny without her!