I am sure 2016 will be remembered as an annus horribilis. The sheer amount of talented people we have sadly lost and the years not half way through. The bereavement of Victoria Wood and Ronnie Corbett were especially big blows to me. In 1993 I made my professional debut in Cinderella alongside Ronnie. His eye and ear for detail and timing was astonishing. His comedic skill was extraordinary – I would often sit in the wings and study his performance. It was incredible to observe him at work – he never faltered. I had to do a slapstick style pas de deux with him to Swan Lake. Every show it filled me with angst as there was no room for mistakes – it was a well drilled tightly structured routine that always brought the house down. Then of course there is Victoria Wood. I was lucky enough to work with her once and like Ronnie she meant business. Nothing was left to chance, it may have looked off the cuff and improvisational but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Both of these brilliant artists helped shape my love and understanding for comedy.
This got to me to thinking of just what a tonic Musical Comedy is. How laughter can take us momentarily away from life’s repetition. I have always been drawn to feel good musicals. Some people sneer at them, there is often a snobbish aroma when it comes to work of this nature. Musical Comedy’s are regularly met with intellectual disapproval – why??? What is wrong with celebrating that art form ? Isn’t it glorious to hear a theatre full of laughter and see people genuinely leave the theatre happier than when they went in?!!!
One of the highlights of Singin’ In The Rain – a true musical comedy – was seeing the audience literally dance out the auditorium on cloud nine. Isn’t that a wonderful thing.
To quote Charlie Chaplin A day without laughter is a wasted day. I couldn’t agree more. So lets try and make the second half of 2016 an annus mirabilis instead for life is better when you’re laughing.