The Piaf run at The Leicester Curve has flown by. With truly stellar reviews (bar one, which we fondly refer to as the cheese review - where we were given a grilling, we grated and a cheese sandwich was mentioned) and fantastic feedback from the audiences, we are lucky
enough to find ourselves extended for another week at the beginning of April, 3-6. And in the main house, no less. Hurrah!
I, for one, am delighted as I've had a blast, both on and off stage but sadly, we are losing two of our cast members (and our fabulous accordion player) to other jobs that were booked before the extension. Laura Pitt-Pulford is off to Salisbury Playhouse to play the lead in A Man of No Importance and Oliver Boot is off on a world tour of King Lear playing Edmund with The RSC. Did I not mention they were a stupidly talented bunch?!
Actually, Oli has been hilarious backstage for the past week. Rehearsals have already started at The Globe for Lear, and he has been commuting to and from Leicester to fit in both. Subsequently, he is somewhat sleep-deprived and saying everything just the way it is..... Laura and Oli - you are both going to be truly missed.
It would be criminal of me not to mention the wonderful Madalena Alberto who has played Piaf once a week as the alternate throughout the run. Having been an alternate myself in Sweet Charity, I know how tricky it is to get the balance right when it's not officially your role, and she has excelled at being a true leading force to the company both on and off stage. Brava, lady!
And as for me? Well, I have my own cabaret at LauderDale House next Sunday (24th) to prepare for, as well as guesting for a couple of friends in their shows before returning to Leicester for Piaf, round two. Time to pull together some suitable repertoire that will marry well with anecdotes about being a jobbing twirlie and my love life...how hard can it be?
Am really looking forward to getting back to London to catch up with friends and seeing them in their various shows. Shall definitely be seeing A Chorus Line, as this production is the same one I did when I was 19, and watching my dear friend James Barton playing the Genie in Aladdin at The Coliseum with The Birmingham Royal Ballet should also be a treat.
However, I still have this week of Piaf, Insanity (we are still doing it!) and many stories are still to be told in The Exchange. Shall report back later...
Tiffany Graves is playing Marlene Dietrich in PIAF at the Curve, Leicester.