Just over one week ago, the Centralian Players had auditions for their October play, a celebratory production for one of its members who has been with the group an amazing 50 years!
Personally, I can't see myself staying that long at anything as my interest in any activity waxes and wanes more frequently than any lunar cycle. Not that I'm fickle, I just get bored easily and if the past few years are anything to go by, I will be leaving and rejoining the group so often that I would have to be around for another 70 years before I ever actually achieve 50 years with the group.
To be honest, if I am around for another 70 years, I am more likely to be getting a telegram from Royalty than treading the boards with anything more than the Old Man Slipper-Shuffle.
But I digress, as usual...
With only around 25 people in the group and two thirds of those willing to be on stage, it was pretty much inevitable that those who wanted a part in the next production would get one: and yes, I did audition, despite the rumours circulating about my retirement from the group for the second time!
I guess you could say I was like a moth to a flame, keep coming back for more despite the pain.
The next production will be the Miss Marple mystery, A Murder is Announced, adapted for the stage by Leslie Darbon and, surprisingly to me, the lead is not actually Miss Marple herself which means that our group member will not be playing the curious old biddy, but instead be playing the lead character, Miss Blacklock.
Thankfully, I do not have a large part to play, but I am in every scene as Miss Blacklock's nephew, Patrick Simmons: yet another role where I have to pretend to be younger than I actually am, which isn't easy when you look like Phil Spencer - I need to have words with my cousin over that reference!
I'm not sure growing my hair for this is going to be a successful idea...
This week saw the first two rehearsals of this production, getting back into the usual rehearsal pattern of 2.5 hours twice a week. Admittedly, I was a little stressed about getting there on time as the producer has a reputation of being a hard man to please. Arriving on time - and to the second - is probably not going to make a good impression either!!
Anyhow, Thursday's rehearsal went well and I left with Mavis to go and collect my car, which I had left in the usual place: the car park of our customer's offices*, which are about a five minute walk from the church hall where we rehearse.
Whilst Mavis and I chatted, I discovered I was something of an attraction to the local wildlife. No, I don't mean the little tartlets that chav themselves up for a night on the town, but wildlife of the more natural kind: one of those huge, furry, pale cream moths with the huge black eyes which took a liking to my left leg and promptly began cleaning itself on it.
I am not a huge fan of insects at the best of times, just the idea of something crawling over me gives me goosebumps and sends my heart racing, but I wasn't about to go all girly in front of Mavis, a down-to-earth, deal-with-it kind of guy.
Yes, you read that right, Mavis is a guy. I know he won't appreciate this but its the only nickname I could come up with for him. However, it is wholly appropriate due to his northern-old-lady-soap-character way of saying "On, no".
Anyway, back to the moth, which had decided for some unfathomable reason that it was going to make a beeline for my crotch. Shaking my leg just resulted in me looking like a tit to the guys that were passing at the time and did nothing to dislodge the hairy monster, so I grabbed a large leaf from a nearby tree and 'ushered' my suitor off my leg ... so it fluttered round to the back of my leg.
Another flick of the leaf and it hit the floor, so Mavis and I decided to call it a night before the moth could gather its senses. By the time we had crossed the road, it was in flight again ... and heading in my direction in the same manner as a police dog might track a crim.
Sounds too surreal doesn't it? But I kid ye not, that night I was the flame the moth was looking for. I've always wanted to be hot, but I was kind of hoping it would be with the girls.
* Ironically, the customer is also my old employer, so I feel a lot more comfortable about parking there!