So it took literal years; even before the whole world went to hell, I was ALWAYS stuck overseas at the exact moment any one of My Jellicles booked a new West End job or came anywhere near me on tour and it was driving me crazy. So much of life and circumstance got in the way and I'm not sure the frustration about all the shows I missed is ever going to really fade - having been back to the theatre again now it's stirred up a little bit of irritation in me towards my past self, a kind of "Well you could've made it happen if you'd tried harder" and whether that's true or not it doesn't matter because my resolve to go on to make sure I make it happen to get back to the theatre whenever I can is at an all-time high. Was it the feeling of walking into an auditorium and smelling the dry-ice and spotlights, was it that insane rush of delight that overtook me completely the moment Ben Mundy first appeared on the stage and we had that silly moment of me thinking "HE'S HERE!!" at the same moment there was this little look in his eyes of "YOU'RE HERE!!" or was it the feeling of standing out in the cold autumn air talking all things theatre with someone as delightfully good and wonderful and talented as Lovely Ben? I don't know, it was most likely a combination of all of those things. But I think I started planning my next trip to the theatre before I'd even got done walking away from the Bolton Octagon that night. (It'll be another trip to see Lovely Ben, and I intend to use my time at stage door next time I see him with trying to bribe him to just always tour so I can never be too long without experiencing just how sunlit his whole being is both on and off the stage!) I feel like this first post back after so long should be something more informative or coherant or should go more in depth about The Book Thief as a show, the Bolton Octagon as a theatre and stage door and Ben as a performer (exceptional) and human (radiant) but really I think the biggest and most important thing I have come away from the experience with is a deep and profound appreciation for the theatre, for stage door, for performers and the sound of the air before and after a show and the feeling of glitter sticking to my cheeks. I think maybe I forgot my own advice for a moment back there and I feel the need to keep repeating it to myself over and over again now: the whole world of the theatre is a unique kind of magic, it's a precious spell that gets cast on Monday nights and matinees and in dark, dry-ice-filled air where good and talented people tell winderful and wild stories and it should never, ever be taken for granted that something so special and improbable is right out there within reach, proving magic is real and starlight isn't so far out of our reach.
Not all of my pictures or write-up are on the page yet, but I will be working on it soon so if you're interested then pop back in to the visit page later for more in-depth thoughts and some pretty pictures of Bolton (which was truly a wonderful place and perfect for a theatre trip!)
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My Theatre Diary