Monday, 5 January 2009

Guest Blogger: Far From Quiet on the Western Front

Dear All, Well...where to even start? I think I'll begin by wishing all of you a massive HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! If your New Year's Eve bash was anywhere near as amazing as mine then we all had a brilliant one. Well, we are now truly deep into the run. We perform seven times a week with Sundays and Mondays off. Matinees on Tuesdays and Fridays. Most of our matt shows are various schools on English trips but it really has been a mixed bag of people.

Our first matt show was to a full house of German soldiers, if I'm being honest I don't think they were very interested in what I had to say but they loved the visual jokes and clapped so hard at the end we ended up doing four curtain calls.
So, we've done matt shows like that to matt shows that have been slightly less great to do. Those of you who don't know, I open the play. I'm the first person on set and I have the first line. Walking into the space all ready to go, I breath in about to belt my first line out and a lad in the forth row shouted "GAY!" at me. Not going to lie to you, it did throw me a bit. It also didn't help that his friends sat around him were laughing so hard I had to wait for the laughter to quieten down before the rest of the audience would be able to hear me. His friends were more entertained by that than they ever would be in me for the next two hours and I knew from that point that this show was going to quickly turn into a hard, long slog.

We've also had a matt show of slightly older English students who took an immediate shine to Charlotte ( young romantic playing opposite me ) a few lads in the front row decided to wave at her when ever she came onto the stage. But once again, when the play got going they seemed to enjoy it, laughed hard and once again did more and more curtain calls.
Over all the play is a massive success. We're selling out every night. Except the odd one where we may have four or five tickets left. We've had brilliant reviews and people are coming back to see it again and again.

As much as I am loving it out here ( I like to think I'm living the dream ), we did have a show Christmas day. Which I was dreading. We had the four days before Christmas off though. My Elders came out to visit me in December. Had a really nice few days kicking into the Hamburg Christmas markets, Gluewein stalls and Brotwursts stands. Then during our four days off once the Elders had gone home we planned our Christmas dinner. We invited all seven members of the cast over to our flat in Barmbek to have a full Christmas dinner and games on Christmas eve. It was amazing. Everyone turned up with cheese and champagne and we all had a merry old time.

New Years Eve; Epic. We had a show, but we're out the theatre by ten so it's not too bad. We had arranged to go to the theatre bar over the road after the show. It's our local really. It's ran by Fabian and his husband Hanns. Fabian also does a top quality drag act which he did in his bar on New Years Eve to entertain us all. I have no words for what I saw. It's tradition in Germany on new years eve to have a Belinor ( a doughnut ). So at 23:45 all the landlords provide champagne and Belinors to all the customers, then everyone goes into the street at midnight and well...they just go mental. Fireworks are illegal here, except the four days before new years eve. So when I say everyone buys some..I MEAN EVERYONE! It's like the Gaza strip. Kids, adults, everyone in between are just firing these MASSIVE fireworks all over the city. In the street, the pavement, off of rooftops, door steps, out of windows, car windows, MOVING car windows, out of milk bottles, champagne bottles, beer cans, ATTACHED to beer cans, It was nothing short of amazing. I've never experienced anything like it and because people obviously stock up on these things you can see and hear these things going off all over the city for miles around for about an hour! The beer jacket kept me warm and everyone just watches, kisses, hugs, etc, but keeping an eye open for a misguided attack. I did see one or two rockets going sideways instead of up ways - if you catch my drift. So, after the Beirut experience it's back into the pubs. By the time the other people were just getting a drink in, it was 00:55, and five minutes later it was UK NEW YEAR! So all of us in unison screamed "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" we started our own celebrations. It was great, all the German people in the pub came over to us, more hugs, more kisses, wished us and our country a happy new year, the whole thing was a brilliant, brilliant experience. So, Hanns and Fabian kicked us out at 03:00 ish, and still up for it I knew a place that would be open ( not pretty, not nice...but open ). I have been exposed to a few bars here that...well...once again, unless you've been here you have no words for. The closest thing I can describe it as being like is if the people in League of Gentleman had a pub... But, underground. With not many lights on. So into Kult we went. I knew as soon as we walked in one or two cast members had changed their mind so they left ( not a bad decision ), leaving just James and I. Once I'd ordered drinks and made our way to the bar a few scary looking locals ( who I've chatted with a few times before ) made their way over and the night started all over again. by 09:00 James and I had decided that we had better call it a night. We did have a show the next day and I don't think I could take anymore. So, we said our goodbye's to the good people of Kult and after even more New Years Eve kisses from the ladies ( we were told it was a New Years Eve tradition in Germany and we didn't want to offend anyone ) we went home. The walk back to my flat was surreal. 09:00 New years day and the streets were FILLED with fireworks, people walking home still singing and one or two going into another bar! Hard core.

So, that was my Christmas and New Years Eve in Hamburg. I did leave out one or two details, but I'm sure you get the jist of what kind of time I'm having here. AN AMAZING ONE!!!
But, now Christmas is over. Christmas markets are over ( and yes Felix, I miss those potato puff things with apple sauce as well. Have you ever had a better next morning food?? ) New years is over and we're back into the run. But...It is Charlotte's birthday in a few weeks so we're planning our next Hamburg Epic night out!

I wish you all the very best for 2009 and until my next ranting update, Peace out.

Your Treading the Boards Buddy.


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