Sunday, 1 July 2007

Rehearsal 1

I need some lessons in patience right now. Because after one hour and ten minutes I'll smash the bloody room up.

I'm standing here, one hour and ten minutes past 9.30 on a Sunday morning, in a sweaty room with flourescent strip lights burning and no windows. This is the dance studio, and right now some 200 ballet school students aged from toddlers to teenagers are pushing their way through it, crying in it, or rolling about on the floor of it, dressed in lurid greens and pinks, sparkly whites, metallic golds and silvers or blue and puce.

I should have brought ear plugs. That's the lesson. After not believing anything I'm told, of course. Like Squirrel being needed for a rehearsal at 9.30 on a Sunday morning. The chaotic noise of all these kids in costume being shouted at not to roll all over the floor has flooded deep into my brain. And when the pressure from that noise is subdued, momentarily overwhelmed by the pig-shrill squealing from Miss Tuzy to get off the floor if you've got your wings on, in flows the twittletwit of the ballet mums as they wittle on about buns and wings and the difficulty of getting sew-on sparkles.

By one hour and forty minutes past 9.30 I'm banging my head on the wall behind me where I've slumped to the floor, telling Squirrel that I have the same information as she does about the cloud rehearsal, so shut up because I am going insane thanks to the fourteen teenage girls next to me dressed as pieces of sky debating the dance styles of Robbie Williams.

That information, I point out to Squirrel again, is pinned on the door to the airless, sweaty room. There's a list of names - mountain fairies, sky, fish, crocodiles, village girls, trees and the rest - all with hours and minutes listed next to them. Clearly, the hours and minutes don't work. If they did, we'd be home right now and I'd be at the brandy. Clouds are listed at 9.30 after crocodiles. Crocodiles are still here, waiting to go upstairs to rehearse, but there's a problem with the feet, apparently, and some crocodiles haven't turned up. I cannot imagine why their parents haven't got them here promptly at 8.30 on a Sunday morning.

So this is another lesson. Never ever leave the house without books, crayons, craft paper and scissors, plus flasks of tea and fully stocked picnic hamper. Especially if you have been given guarantees that Clouds will be over in 30 minutes because they can't possibly fall behind schedule so early in the morning.

We have a week of this ahead. And if this goes on, the devil will get in me, and then there'll be trouble. I know it, because there was trouble two years ago. I cornered Miss Tuzy then and made her defend why she'd helped create a four-hour theatre performance with a five minute hole in it when the audience were told it wasn't the end, just sit down because we need to do some scene changes. The word incompetent is only the start of the utterance forming in my mind.

No comments: