February is on the horizon and OK, a few comfortable days away yet. But we all know what February means don't we? Yep, it's YFC entertainments competition time again.
'Please, please, please,' I think, 'give it a miss this year guys.' But no. The call comes and we're foregathered in the village hall with 16 pages of script, an enthusiastic Dorothy and a cast who'll turn up when they can, lambing permitted.
They're having a stab at the Wizard of Oz. An abridged version I think - although as I have never seen the original this may be it. It's certainly enough for me. There is talk of further cuts but I think losing the Lion, Tin Man or Scarecrow is probably a cut too far.
The girls who have turned up demonstrate girly commitment, ooze fluency - and multitask. (The Witch of the South turns up late, knows most of her lines and can find, instantly, the ones she doesn't in a crumpled un-highlighted script. At the same time she does a bit of college course work while sitting cross legged on a village hall chair, files spread out in a muddle on the floor around her. I am impressed.) Meanwhile the lads have none of this sang froid. They stumble over words, punctuate mid phrase, re-phrase, whisper and waffle. They hide behind bravado and banter. Sigh. We, the directors, despair.
This afternoon I read for 'Lion' who has gone fishing somewhere. The script calls for some 'rrrrrrrraghs' and some 'grrrrrrrrhs', a throaty expectorating 'hack' and some camp whimpering from the cowardly critter. All of which I managed, surprising myself and the cast. I am that Lion. Thank goodness I'm way too old to be in the cast. I would not want this to be my stage debut.
Horrid feeling that somewhere in the room somebody had the iPhone on record.....this may be how I will be remembered. Grrrrrrrrh.