Friday, March 19, 2010
Because The Drummer is fabulous, he got me front row seats for Les Miserables for my birthday, which meant I spent my birthday night just feet away from the orchestra, the stage, the lights and the sound equipment (and the cast of FABULOUS musicians who make up my favourite musical of all time ever, obviously)
Geekery aside, I do love this show very much, the music is so amazingly varied and always sung faultlessly by whomever happens to be playing the role each time I see it - even though its never the same, each actor brings their own slant to the role. And I can never NEVER have enough of beautiful tenor voices singing in close harmony. Shivers down the spine doesn't begin to describe the magic of being surrounded by so much beautiful music.
However, seeing as how I can never put my geekery totally to one side, even when lost in the magic of Les Mis, I found myself noticing little things - how Marius climbed the gate too quickly and had to wait a couple of seconds until it had rotated fully in to the light before he delivered his line; how the the drummer in the orchestra wasn't quite as close to the floor as he thought and dropped his sticks when he was trying to put them down during a quick change; how utterly seamless and invisible the scene changes all were - you saw the stagehands ONCE when they had to move a table with candles on it. Other than that, you saw absolutely nothing. The lighting was so clever; the staging so well thought out. And every night it is that flawless. The backstage and technical staff are so precisely trained so that their work is of a level with that of the actors - everything comes together night after night to deliver an amazing production. The standing ovation it receives each night is testament to that.
The perfection and attention to detail made me realise that, in many ways, my old boss had simply been trying to produce the absolutely best show all round that he could each time we opened the theatre. Essentially, his heart was in the right place to get The Studio the best name and reputation and profile it could have. To give the actors the closest to a professional experience that they could get outside a real theatre. To raise the profile of drama and technical theatre within the curriculum and the school as a whole. He certainly didn't go about it in the right way, but I can see how that, in his way, he was simply trying to do his job to the best standard he could possibly deliver. He wasn't right, but now I can see that he wasn't as wrong as my mind made him be.
The night I got the job, I wrote that I knew there was a plan for my time there. Tuesday night went some way to healing the damage that forgetting about that certainty of a plan for the subsequent three months while I was working there. I'm still hurt and angry about my time there. There are still some things that need healing, and that will take time, but sat in a theatre for the first time since leaving my job, I realised I'll never be prouder of a piece of work than when the curtain closed after my first show. People sat and watched *my* work, appreciated *my* artistry, acknowledged *my* skills. And I don't do that to myself enough.