Last night I went to The Poor School on Pentonville Road for an Theatrical Event featuring a metric TONNE of delightful people.
For the past couple of months Ms E Morgan and I have been meeting every couple of weeks to nudge each other along with / EDIT each other's sitcom scripts. She's writing one called 'Popscene!' about a band in 1995 who accidentally get involved in Britpop, while mine's called 'The Department' and is about a University research department. Write what you know! A few weeks ago Emma suggested we organise a readthrough so that we could a) hear what the scripts sounded like when read out load and b) get various CHUMS along to get some extra feedback. This seemed like a GRATE idea to me so we hunted round for venues, then for actors, and got ourselves a night sorted out.
I thus arrived at The Poor School at approx 6.15pm and was immediately CONFUSED about how to get into the building. Luckily two of our cast, Mr J Yeah and Ms T Al-Bassam, arrived ten seconds later and together we found our way in. It was a funny old place - nobody seemed to be in charge - but a nice young man came and kicked some other young people out of our room for us, then left us to it. As more people arrived we set the room up and also laid out a splendid BUFFET of BOOZE and biscuits!
We'd advertised the start as 7pm for 7.15pm, but ended up starting a bit late as I was lurking round outside looking for latecomers and Emma had to dash out for more red wine! When we came back in we found a room nicely full of people. The MIX of people did my head in a bit, as all the people I knew came from different parts of my life - there were people I knew from the MA, from ROCK, from computer stuff and ALL sorts. It was a bit like (comics reference) SECRET WARS: BATTLEWORLD would be, I expect, but with less fighting and more biscuits.
The readings themselves were ACE - Emma's was first, then we had a break, then it was my turn. When you have one of your PIECES read you're meant to sit quietly and take studious notes, but I just sat there and LARFED, especially at my own jokes - hey! if you're not laughing at them, why should you expect someone else too eh? That's my justification and I'm sticking to it!
The CAST were bloody brilliant, and also a MIX of people we knew. From college there was Tamara, Mr H Carr and Ms N Racklin, from South London ROCK there was Johnny and Ms J Lockyer, from the crazy world of comedy there was Mr J Dredge and from Fringe ACTION there was Mr S Hewitt. It was a whole bunch of people who'd mostly not met each other before, but it seemed to work well, especially during the dialogue scenes in Emma's script when suddenly a BAND appeared before us, in all its bickering glory!
When we were done there was much CHAT and MINGLING like some sort of proper DO or something before we headed off down the road to The Parcel Yard for more of the same. I sat at a table and witnessed all these different delightful people YACKING away to each other in strange Not-Usually-How-I-Know-Them groupings, feeling proud and privileged to know such people, and to be able to get them together so that I can laugh at my own jokes!