Farewell to Hair: a new chapter starts

Back in December I started rehearsing for Hair, which is due to hit the stage in June. A few days ago, though, I informed the production crew that I would be withdrawing. Not only that but I’ve announced my intentional to (semi?) retire from the world of musical theatre too.

But to explain why, we need to go back to the beginning…

When I was asked to take part in Hair I was ecstatic. I hadn’t performed in this particular group’s last 2 shows (and they only do 1 a year, so it was a while) and so was genuinely excited to get involved with them again. I said “yes” without giving it a second though.

And that was a mistake. You see, Hair is not your usual show and the way the group was performing it, although both intriguing and exciting, should have set alarm bells off in my head. The cast will remain on stage throughout the entire time – when the audience is milling in and even during the interval. There is no curtain and little in the way of set. And there are a LOT of songs, most of which involve movement or dance for the entire cast.

Let’s just say I’m neither a natural nor a good dancer. I also have a memory that would put a colander to shame. So, as rehearsals went on, I realised what a task this should would be – one song, for example, is a long (but quickly sung) list of random, unrelated words. For a while, though, I’ve convinced myself that I could still do it but, in recent weeks, I realised I was fooling both myself and friends who tried to convince me to too (you know who you are!).

Last Tuesday’s rehearsal was particularly gruelling and that helped me make my mind up. But I slept on it. 4 times. Then, on Saturday, I penned an email to the show’s Director, Beth, explaining my decision and why I’d taken it. Tonight is the first rehearsal since then, so I’ve dropped a similar note on the group’s private Facebook group.

Beth has been genuinely amazing about it all – when I first expresses concerns a few weeks ago, she spent time with me, going through some options that could help. Unfortunately, all of these involved ducking out of particular numbers – sitting down at the side of the stage whilst everybody else performed was not something I wanted to do, as it would make me far too self-conscious. And, to be honest, the way it was going, I was going to have to sit out of quite a few of them too.

I’ve learnt a valuable lesson here about checking these shows out before wildly accepting. The “look before you leap” analogy, I guess.

So, what’s next?

A couple of weeks ago, whilst I was in Lisbon with work, I made the decision that after Hair I would take some away from the stage to pursue some other projects. A semi-retirement that I could never guarantee wouldn’t be permanent.

Of all the disciplines in musical theatre, the one I love the most is singing. I have a wide vocal range but it’s pretty un-tamed. So, I’m going to take singing lessons (not yet – later in the year). Where this will take me, I don’t know. Maybe back to musical theatre, maybe elsewhere.

What I will be doing imminently though, and totally unrelated to this (except I wouldn’t have done this until after Hair), is lose some weight. None of my current health issues are related to it (so I’m told) but, for lack of any other solution, I want to see if it does. Plus, I may be better at scaling the pavements of Lisbon in future, so have the Mickey taken out of me less next time I’m there.

But neither of those are going to do much socially, so I do need to find somewhere to go out to – that is something I need to think about further, although I do have ideas!

For now, it’s goodbye to Hair. I’m going to miss those in the cast like crazy – we had a great time the last few months.

I’ll miss you! All the hugs 🤗🧡

We will really miss you! ❤️ 

 I’m gonna miss you a lot, mate! Your sharp wit and fellatio miming always put a smile on my face 😛 Take care! Lots of love! 

It was THAT kind of show, just bear in mind 😉

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