The age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists and calculators has succeeded.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Welcome to Gafferville

I remember I was sitting on a picnic hamper. And I had a cardboard cut out of a light bulb in my hand. That’s when it happened. Sitting there stage left, crouched out of sight, watching some of my favourite people in the whole world perform Godspell. The show was going well, the marquee we were performing in was packed to beyond its capacity, people were standing outside, craning their heads sideways through the flaps just to get a look at us. At the end of each song the applause rushed over the cast like a thunder storm, a bubbling, breathless mass of sound that picked them up and flung them headlong into the next scene, buoyed by the general outpouring of support and appreciation. The show was obviously a success, an understatement perhaps, we had surpassed anything we had dared to hope possible. But it wasn’t the cheers or the rapt attention that changed everything, it was something else …

A little history. We had rehearsed the show for only two days prior to coming to the Greenbelt festival at Cheltenham Racecourse; two days of desperately trying to remember what we’d done over a year ago when we’d last performed this particular version of Godspell. Most of the cast had returned (along with a couple of brave new recruits) and from then on the process had been equal parts joy, pain and madness. But here we were, back together, firing on all cylinders - my brave little band of players stepping out onto an unfamiliar stage and just owning the place. Burning so brightly with star wattage that it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

And that’s when it happened. Something in the eyes of the cast as they glanced at one another, something in the interplay of harmony and accompaniment, something in the air …

Suddenly I knew with absolute certainty that for once in my life I was exactly where God wanted me to be, doing exactly what he wanted me to do and the knowledge of that sublime commission seemed to merge with the notes of our final song of redemption -- as the audience surged to its feet in applause -- as the cast, my cast, my wonderful, talented friends raised jazz hands heavenwards -- as the world around us boiled with colour and fury.

So I just want to say thank-you. Thank-you to everyone involved in that incredible event. Thank-you for one of the most life-affirming experiences I’ve ever had. Thank-you for your grace and hard work and talent. You people blow my mind.


Anonymous Ian DG said...

blow your mind? well alright but don't do it too often...the stains are so difficult to get out of the carpet.

1:18 pm  
Blogger A Pea Called Loweese said...

always brings a tear to my eye when i read this.


love you chris... your as amazing as you think we are. x

1:24 pm  
Blogger urban cowboy said...

i made that lightbulb

3:20 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jolly fine occasion old chap.Well done to everyone involved. The aged parents were very proud of you all.

5:49 pm  

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