Musical theatre row and tennis

Favourite Twitter quote of the day, “Dude, I watch NCIS, CSI and Criminal Minds, I can make your death look like an accident.” Love it.

Well today is a catching up, bitsy, sort of day. Draft Two is finished and printed off and is awaiting its first ‘read’ by someone other than me. I’m very pleased with it, my gut tells me I’m on the right track. Did I tell you I have changed its format? It won’t be a full length novel, it will be a novella of around 40,000 words and it will be followed quite quickly by a second of around the same length and then a third, a series featuring most of the same characters. So it’s not a long read and it rips along.

Sally came home yesterday to two large bags of ripened plums, an ice-cream container of frozen stewed plums and six jars of THE most delicious plum jam. She’d been camping for a week up north on a glorious, secluded beach and guess what they’d lived on? Fish and plums. She did a very good job of being thrilled to be greeted with so many plummy things.

Something caught my eye on Twitter and it interests me. Lord Lloyd Webber has announced another reality TV series on ITV to find a new musical star to play Jesus Christ in a revamp of Jesus Christ Superstar. Sir Tim Rice (his original collaborator – lyricist) has come out in the papers in the UK and said the idea is tacky, wrong and he might veto any winner. He has a casting veto on any JCS production, apparently. On reflection, I have to say I agree with Rice. It is the one role that carries religious and political connotations. What are they going to say each week? “You could still be Jesus.” It just sounds wrong. Will they have a crucifixion challenge? Teach them to hang on a cross? Besides, there are MANY wonderful young performers who would fill the role brilliantly. Michael Xavier and Lee Mead to name just two. Men with a proven track record and who would bring a fan base to the production. “Gethsemane” is one of the hardest and most taxing songs in all of musical theatre and it needs to be sung brilliantly or the audience feels cheated. I’ve heard Michael Ball sing it live and many times on DvD and he is extraordinary, he gets completely submerged in the role and takes you on that emotional journey. He has had 25 years plus in the musical theatre industry, do you really expect a kid, discovered on TV, to do this role justice?

We’ve been watching tennis on TV. The Australian Open. The Grand Slam where the court side temperature can reach over 50 degrees C in the afternoon. To win you need to win seven five set (or three set for women) matches in 14 days. We’ve seen some spectacular matches and much demonstration of talent and courage and stubbornness that defies belief. I hope Roger Federer wins but he has three very tough matches ahead. It reminds me of a time in my life when I produced tennis for SkyTV. I travelled the world and saw many of the greats of the day play on clay, grass and indoor and outdoor fast courts. Edberg, Sampras, Lendl, Becker, Agassi, Graff, Seles, Hingis…I even saw Borg play three sets at Monte Carlo in 1991, he was beaten easily because he used a wooden racquet and his opponent didn’t. But it was fun. And the nightclub served multilayered cocktails called “Bjorn Again”. (Why do I remember that??)

It is a glorious day here, not a cloud in a deep blue sky and the sun is already beating down and it is 9.30am. A day for oodles of sunscreen if you’re going outside. A nice day for a cool, refreshing swim. Happy Days.


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