In some ways, this story may reveal to you exactly why I am now a bitter, twisted person, determined to unite all bitter exes to hex their former partners.
Being left out of the next MATs amateur production, a farce called Noises Off (which actually drives you mental after a bit, what with all the busty blondes running scantily clad through different doors, being chased by lecherous old men in blazers), I was approached to put on a pantomime for the children of Muscat as many of the expat children had never seen a traditional English panto before.
This was quite a challenge for me as I had only ever worked backstage once, when I was at college and fancied the Drama teacher. I was put off him dramatically (do you like that pun, eh?) during one rehearsal as I was perched in the gallery, absent-mindedly waving the spotlight everywhere and idly picking my nose. He leched up to me and broke the most foul-smelling fart I have ever smelt in my life and I promptly vomited on his shoes. I left the college shortly after that and got a job with Barclays Bank plc…
So, to go backstage again, this time as a director, was quite a tough thing for me…Although not as tough as getting somebody to play The Dame.
I enlisted the help of all my most trusted friends to help me with the set, props, costumes etc, including my (then) husband, and my (then) best friend who had a degree in Fine Art and reckoned she could paint all the backdrops and set for me.
We worked as a fine team, all of us; my producer, Amanda, being a total rock right the way through, even when I resorted to Diazepam to help me sleep at night what with the nerves, trying to get sponsors and some of the chorus threatening to walk out on me if I made them dance with mops and brushes.
Our performances of Camelot Capers won the admiration of the British Embassy and the school principal – particularly as he got his mitts on around £10,000 from our fund-raising efforts. It was quickly established that we would put on another production ASAP, and so, bowing to inordinate pressure, we did.
We decided to perform Dick Whittington. It’s a very dull story, really, but it was the only panto script I could get my hands on for nothing. Also, I couldn’t find a part in it for myself, so I knew the pressure would be off marginally, as I had acted in and directed the first.
Same backstage team, different cast (very different, blimey – I had more Prima Donnas in this cast than Maria Carey makes stupid demands whilst on tour). But, again, the backstagers gelled magnificently.
Somewhat too magnificently…
My (then) husband took to working all the hours Allah sent (we lived in a Muslim country at the time) alongside my (so-called) best friend – the one with the Art degree. At midnight one night, I called them at the school and asked what on earth they were doing at that time…Were they having a romp on the canvas or summat?
Well, yes, they were. And I was the last to hear about it. And I was the warped lunatic who gave it my blessing, initially. Only to come to my senses about five days later, when I was stuck in, baby-sitting the kids once again while they went to the pub quiz and got jiggy.
I didn’t stay in that country for much longer – the (then) husband saw to it that I was removed from his sight after two months and dispatched to the UK as a gibbering wreck.
Now you may understand why Matt & I set up HexMyEx!