I always took pride in the fact that no matter what was thrown at me when I was a swing, I could cope with it. I adored the challenge of no two shows the same and being thrown on halfway through. I fear my sense of pride had clearly left the building this particular day! I was in Anything Goes at Drury Lane; it was the most stunning show. We all felt honoured to be a part of it, a dazzling production. However, this specific two-show day proved to be a slightly more cloudy than fair event!
This crime to theatre took place during that showstopper Blow Gabriel Blow. I was covering five people this day! Not the most I ever undertook – there was one performance I played six roles including one Chinese track with a dubious accent but that is another story!
In one section of this number, a boy did a series of acrobatic backflips across the stage and I was meant to catch him at the end…. I put my hands up, I forgot – I heard a mighty thud turned around and witnessed this poor dancer flat on his back. Needless to say, he wasn’t exactly over the moon about the scenario. Between shows, I begged for forgiveness, pointing out my history of rarely going wrong and putting it down to swing brain overload. Reluctantly, he took my apology and I meagrely got ready for the evening performance with my mirror covered in notes reminding me to NOT DROP HIM!!!!
Cut forward to the same number, the same day, second performance.
Now those of you who know me will be aware I am somewhat follicly challenged – I blame my father! In Anything Goes I had a lovely toupee which was glued on my forehead and gripped into the back of my hair. Just before the boy did his acrobatic section again, I did a double tour, landed on my knee, threw my head forward, at which point my toupee went with it! I turned round with horror to the giggling dancers nearby at exactly the same time as he landed with yet another mighty thud. I had dropped him twice in one day. I was horrified – on so many levels!
Hair today gone tomorrow has never felt so relevant!!!!
So always be kind to the swings, they are only human and now and then make mistakes! Remember “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got a swing” !!!