2020 hasn’t been a good year for anyone and in a lot of ways, I have got off quite lightly however the thing that I have missed most is music.
Despite being painfully shy as a child, I have always loved performing. My first public performance (not in school or church) was on the stage at De Montfort Hall in Leicester when I was 10 in 1970. I can still remember the thrill of getting into costume and make up and running out onto the stage to the music of Vaughan Williams folk song suite.
Since then, there hasn’t been a year when I haven’t performed in a show or a concert somewhere. Until 2020! That’s 50 years of amateur singing and performing and I have loved every minute of it. I have sung with huge choirs and small groups but my first love has to be musical theatre. My first role was Louisa in The Sound of Music when I was 11 and I have never looked back. I have never been amazingly good and my one regret is that I wasn’t more talented and able to do some of the lovely lead roles. However I have had some great small roles and just being on stage and in costume has a thrill all of its own.
I have had the good fortune to work with professional singers and actors as well as some amazingly talented amateur performers. I have also travelled and performed in places as far apart as the top of the Empire State Building and a 2000 seat theatre in Philadephia to the end of the pier theatre in Cromer with the waves crashing below us. I met my husband through my theatre group and we have had over 20 brilliant years together.
It isn’t just performing. Each show can take up to 6 months to rehearse. The people that we rehearse and perform with become a second family. There is nothing quite like sitting in a room and learning new music together. The camaraderie that comes out of this is second to none but this year it all came to an abrupt end. We were 10 days away from putting on The Producers. It was a fantastic cast and was going to be a brilliant show. Sadly all our work together with that of every professional and amateur group in the country was wasted.
Hopefully, this year theatre will return. I have missed going to see live shows as well as performing in them. With a vaccine ready to be rolled out, maybe we can begin to look forward to shared live music being part of our lives again. Roll on 2021.