I am writing this from my home for the week in Newcastle. This week I’m playing for the Newcastle Musical Theatre Company’s production of Sound of Music in Newcastle’s Theatre Royal. The first performance is tonight, which is very exciting! Here’s my harp in the pit:
I left my pillar cover on just to be on the safe side… the ceiling is really low! This is probably the easiest pit I’ve been in recently. This month I’ve also been playing with the National Festival Orchestra for the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Buxton Opera House, which is beautiful:
The technical team in Buxton move harps all the time (or so they told me) and thought it best to lower my harp down into the pit from the stage. Oh my. It was crazy – but actually – if you have enough people helping it’s not too bad. Here’s my view from the pit once I was in:
I was there to play in Franz Lehar’s Merry Widow. What a fun operetta! It’s still going round in my head most of the time. The performances were separated by a day, and instead of being able to leave my harp in the pit I had to heave it out to go up to Scarborough to take part in a concert organised by the lovely Christine Cox, playing alongside Simon Lindley, Keith Swallow and Phillip McCann. It was lovely to do some solo performing:
After Buxton, Merry Widow was also performed in Harrogate’s Royal Hall – the pit was even more tricky than Buxton! The harp had to be lifted over a waist-level rail before being lowered into the pit – thankfully again I had loads of people helping me (by helping me I actually mean doing it all themselves while I try not to freak out too much). And I couldn’t even leave the harp there because in between performances I had to drive up to Newcastle for the first Sound of Music bandcall! Yes this week has been mental. I enjoy playing for shows so much though it’s worth all the driving, no question.
So here I am, in Newcastle for the week. I thought I was being sensible by buying lots of healthy food to cook for myself (I’m staying in university halls of residence) but I didn’t realise that the kitchen is devoid of any pans/pots/cutlery! I think some band members are donating stuff to me for the week, but tonight I’m afraid I’m having garlic bread and pizza, shove in the oven and eat. As simple as you can get!
So that pretty much brings us up to date. As ever, thanks for reading! Lots of exciting projects coming up in the near future! I can’t wait to tell you all about them.