I am a naturally clumsy girl (WOMAN- I have to remind myself) at the best of times. My family’s accurate yet affectionate nickname for me is ‘Spiller’ and no before you jump to any nostalgic conclusions they are not referring to the hit chart toppers of August 2000...
... Although for the record I had a wonderful holiday romance played out to that song in a French Eurocamp, aged 14, so the reference would not be entirely out of place- no what they are referring to is the physical impossibility of my supporting any vessel of liquid without depositing it on either myself or the surrounding areas.
So far on this job I have sprained my foot, locked myself out of my house (this happened when a friend came to visit and an over-zealous Dazza ran out of the house to hug said friend and the door- naturally- slammed behind her), burnt my entire hand on my curling tongs (I may have grabbed the tongs by the hot end… IDIOT) and finally, last night, tripped onto stage.
‘She Stoops to Conquer’ has finally entered the building and with it has come yards and yards of superfluous silks. Our dresses are at least three foot wide, with a little train, the technical term for which is a ‘sack back’… You have no idea how hard it was in the fittings not to shout out ‘AND CRACK… SACK, BACK AND CRACK… GEDDIT?!’ For a natural potty mouth like myself, it was a living nightmare.
Because of the width of the dresses, we ladies have had to develop a form of movement known to us as ‘The Crab’. The narrowness of the wings at the side of the stage means that in order to pass through, we have to turn sideways and scuttle along, much akin to a crab. The miming of pincers is optional, but it is an option I always take up.
So yes, last night I tripped. It was bound to happen; the inevitability of it sickens me. It was during a scene in which I am wearing my nemesis: The Cloak. Said cloak, is literally as wide as the equator and as long as a Pinocchio’s nose after he has been caught cheating on Jiminy Cricket. It engulfs me.
It happened as my character was about to say a GRACEFUL and tearful good bye to her lover, you know, one of those moments where time slows down and cherubs being playing tiny violins… Well in this case time froze and instead of tiny violins the cherubs were on percussion and played… BAH BOOM BOOM CHHH!
The cloak had wrapped its way around my ankles and like the scene in Harry Potter where the mermaids are dragging him down into the depths of the lake (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for pedants), the cloak and gravity aided my downfall. LUCKILY, I righted myself before face hit deck so I was spared the humiliation of having to haul myself up again. But still, the blush on my cheeks said it all.
The classic ‘Send me a postcard’ jokes and ‘Did you enjoy your trip?’ remarks were made, noted and fully accepted. I would expect nothing less.
So for any future employers, boyfriends, lovers, pets or friends: If you expect a hazard-free, smooth-flowing, elegant experience… please go to the ballet. For you will not find it here.
However, if you change your minds you will find me with Bridget Jones sat on an excessively comfy sofa surrounded by our pet Alsatians who are currently tucking into their evening meal of silky, silky cloak.
Until next time!