Friday, 10 August 2007

Nude With Violin - For Heather!

I have never before encountered a blog request, but this is for Heather of http://thewishfulwriter.blogspot.com/

You see, I happened to mention that I once played a Russian hooker in a Noel Coward Play: “Nude With Violin”…And the veritable author (you know who you are, Heather!) wanted to know more…

Well, I shall tell you…if you are sitting comfortably…then I will begin…

I really, chuffing didn’t want this part. I wanted to be the young, sought after, bereaved daughter. The one whom everyone wanted to be friends with, the beautiful one, the well-spoken one.

I got lumped with playing the mad, nymphomaniac Russian princess/whore…

It was quite bizarre, that, at the time, I was attempting to teach myself Russian with a book purchased from a Charity Shop, missing the accompanying tape. I worked jolly hard on those backward Rs, I can tell you…

When I was given the part, I thanked the director graciously, as is my wont, and then set about cursing her in the most vicious manner. It backfired on me, as she called me up, unexpectedly one day and accused me of accusing HER of cronyism. I had to concede defeat and do my best.

So, I set sail to Cyprus, on leave from Oman, armed with The Idiot’s Guide to Russian, my script, factor 25 and plenty of money to buy Coral beer to see me through this nightmare.

I returned to Oman, almost word-perfect, my accent superb (apart from the fact that I couldn’t quite say “leemon-kooshon” [lemon cushion] quite right) and I had slimmed down in order to slip into a very slinky red frock.

I think I looked pretty good, actually. My red frock was very, very sexy; my legs were shaved and my Marie Claire black strappies looked OK, too. Then the Props Lady placed a dead, black chicken on my head, claiming it was a 1920s, avant-garde, art-deco piece of headgear. She pinned it to my scalp with more hairgrips than any supermodel has ever had to encounter. I was also weighed down with drapes of paste, diamond jewellery.


On my first night, my knees were shaking so much that the front row (my Russian voice coach there) could see it visibly. The ‘brondi, not wodka’ I had to drink was bloody water, and I nearly choked on it in my nerves…

When I came off stage, my friend, who had attempted to help me with my make-up, only to be brushed aside with snidey comments said, Why don’t you grab one of those chandelier crystals and stick it through your nose-ring hole…Always up for a challenge, I did so.

I got through it, and I actually got about one plaudit, to be honest with you, apart from my (then) husband, who said I did OK. I never got any flowers, like the young daughter, whom I desperately wanted to play – her boyfriend was obviously a soppy wuss, and I am not a bitter bitch, honestly…But I took my curtain call wearing a chandelier crystal through my nose…and not many people can say that…

The next play I did for the Muscat Amateur Theatre Group was Rape of the Belt, but due to Censorship in the Middle East, we had to call it Myth of the Belt…sad…

Again, I wanted to play Hera, Athiope, or Anthea…I got given the part of Hippobomene, whom everyone in the cast called ‘Hippo’…

Initially attempting to be Shakespearian and play it ‘straight’, I got naffed off after four rehearsals, and played it ‘Reet Yorkshire’, turning into a Sergeant Major extraordinaire during one of my scenes…I ousted out one drunken female who was getting on my nerves by chatting all the way through my few lines when I shouted to the waiters, ‘ “Ey, Yu, Boyz, Cum ‘ere and get this wumman outofererightnow…ontheredubble…quick march nooooowwwwww…”

She waited for me outside of the hotel and I still have the scar on my nose to prove it…

And, that, Heather, was my foray into AmDram with the MADs…One day I may tell you about the British School Muscat Players (the group I established), but that is ANOTHER story!

5 comments:

thewishfulwriter said...

WHY oh WHY has it taken me this long to find your blog?!!! (and I'm not just saying that because you dedicated such a kick-ass blog to me. I'm not)!

This story is the best - especially the dead chicken part (oh, and thank you for making sure we knew you shaved your legs when wearing the red slinky thingie). I wasn't gonna ask...

As for the daughter, she probably grew up to be a drug addict and not a fabulous blog author...so YOU WIN!

Looking forward to the next blog you're promising :)

WittyWriterGal said...

:>)

What a great story! Would love to hear the next one!

Agnes Mildew said...

Thank you, both Wishfulwriter and Wittywriter for you comments. What W name can I call myself as a writer. Answers on a postcard, please!! Probably, Wastrel, to be honest...

I was really chuffed that Heather gave me the inspiration for that blog as I have been struggling just recently to think of anything.

And to think, my AmDram days hold loads of stories - but what on earth do they have to do with Hexing Your Ex?!

Oh well, needs must, when the devil drives!

Agnes Mildew said...

Actually, Heather, in retrospect, the 'daughter' went on to marry a very handsome Bank Manager's son, I think. She didn't do drugs, and got sh*t-faced on one glass of Chardonnay...

And she was really pretty and lovely...I hated her...

thewishfulwriter said...

You make me laugh. That's all their is to it.