Autumn in the Capital
My Capital Ring walk is going well! I am a third of the way round already, reaching Wimbledon Park having started in Woolwich. The next leg through Richmond Park should be quite stunning, especially if the weather is as good as the photo above (fingers crossed!). I can highly recommend the walk, which takes around 2-3 hours a day and is really easy & (mostly) well signposted. I use the app Go Jauntly as a companion, which keeps me on the straight & narrow.
As you can tell, I am enjoying home life back in London once again. It has been the best part of two and a half years on tour, so I have a lot of to-dos saved up! Another aspect has been West End shows - the list has grown longer month by month! Through September I managed to catch the Open Air Theatre version of EVITA before it closed, as well as TINA THE MUSICAL & WAITRESS. I am an addict for the Film with Live Orchestra series, so I took some mates to see The Empire Strikes Back at the Royal Albert Hall the other day. Hearing that theme played live in front of you with the “opening crawl” on the big screen is quite something! Yesterday I saw the intriguing play WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING, directed by the gorgeous Gemma Maddock who was voice coach on the Matilda tour. I’ll try and get a handful more shows done before I start full-time on Falsettos at the end of October.
Talking of Falsettos, I have now conducted my first few performances of this UK premiere run of the musical. My first show was actually brought forward by a week, so a somewhat relaxing week and a half at my parents in Cheshire was more like a lengthy piano practise session! My parents didn’t mind too much, thankfully. Once back in London, my first stab at playing the show went well. It’s one of the busiest shows I’ve ever done: my fingers hardly leave the keys for each of the 70 minute-long acts! But the score is beautiful, the cast & musicians are unbelievably good, so it’s a real delight to play. I’m looking forward to getting back to The Other Palace soon! A reminder that I take over as Musical Director full time for the last four weeks of the run from 28th October.
My trip to Cheshire, barring the odd afternoon of piano practise, was some much-needed respite after the last year or two of work. I even took my dad to watch football and cricket, and we were at Old Trafford on the Sunday that the Ashes were retained! My childhood home town of Altrincham hosted the final stage of the Tour of Britain cycling, and the centre & market were really bustling. It’s so great to see the town I grew up in becoming a real established gem in the North West.
October stays relatively quiet, so my adventure around the Capital Ring will continue. I’m going to get my act together and have a little break/retreat somewhere, and preparations for my next TBA show will also continue. Hopefully it will stop raining at some point and we can enjoy some autumn sunshine!