Showtime Challenge is done. I'm back. I'm exhausted.
That about sums up the last five days, but I realise it's somewhat lacking in detail. We started rehearsals at 7.30pm on Friday and 48 hours later the curtain went up at the London Palladium in front of 1500 people. In that time I think I slept for about 9 hours. Getting up at 5.30am and getting home after midnight; shepherding 120 cast members across 8 floors of our rehearsal building; grabbing a coffee and a sandwich as and when we could; organising the dressing rooms at the theatre; working out how to get a dozen cockney dancers from the wings into the auditorium aisles for their part in The Lambeth Walk halfway through the show - these were all things that resulted in the most profound exhaustion I've ever known. My feet still ache from pounding up and down flights of stairs for two days.
But we did it. Me & My Girl was fabulous: the cast were staggeringly talented, the choreography amazing, the singing superb, the people involved truly inspiring. We got a 4 star review in the Evening Standard and we raised a lot of money for the Anthony Nolan Trust, despite one of our hosts being Les Dennis (sample put-down to a would-be heckler: 'I like to do my act the way you like to have sex - alone'. Not ideal for a family audience, even if it were funny. Luckily Mel Giedroyc was much better).
There's something wonderful about being reminded of what it's possible to achieve with a dedicated group of talented people in a short space of time. Makes you think there's probably very little that can't be accomplished in 48 hours if you put your mind to it. And makes me realise I waste a lot of that potential most weekends, but nevermind.
I'm taking a few days off work to recover and press on with the Christmas knitting. Of course I keep being sidelined by things I want to make for myself but as someone kindly pointed out, you have to do that or knitting becomes a chore.
So today I've made a snood-type scarf and a matching hat out of some squishy and delicious Rowan Big Wool. Despite the current cold snap I am going to be seriously warm. Will try to post some pics tomorrow when my dongle is feeling more obliging.
I've also sourced some wool for one particular present that I'm very happy about. Watch this space for a Superman-inspired gift...