Saturday, 5 August 2017

Hay fever and the Flask

Yesterday was all about writing string music for Em. I spent much of the afternoon working on a sequence of Irish folk music to accompany the landlady's song. It's perhaps a little cliched to give an old Irish character a shedload of fiddly-diddly, but it feels appropriate in this context. It also serves up a different musical flavour to the show. Musical theatre is fairly unlike any other arts medium in that diversity is key. Musical theatre thrives on pastiche. A musical will often whip through a fair number of different genres. Tango, jazz, Latin, folk... all fair game.

I briefly popped up into Highgate Village in the evening to say hello to our old friend Carey, who is in the country to oversee the new production of his musical adaptation of Flash Dance, which, coincidentally, is being directed by Hannah and choreographed by lovely Matt who were two thirds of the creative team behind Em. The world of musical theatre seems to get smaller by the second.

We drank at The Flask, which is probably one of London's most famous pubs. It's a ancient building. I went on their website earlier to try and find out just how ancient it actually is, but it merely informed me that the pub is "centuries old." It's probably 17th Century. Karl Marx probably drank there. It's that sort of place. It's certainly a quirky old building, filled with all sorts of nooks and crannies where Highgate residents drink real ale and eat slightly fancy gastro-pub cuisine. There are scores of tiny little rooms with wooden panelling and uneven floors, and there's a charming courtyard out front. It is top of the list of drinking establishments for most North Londoners. Not to be mistaken for the Flask in Hampstead, which is nothing like as nice!

My hay fever season has arrived. I don't know what it is about me and the first two weeks of August but there's obviously a pollen which is specific to this time of year. Sometimes I wonder if it's thistle. My birthday (which is in three days time) is often accompanied by the sight of thistle down floating, like snow, through the air.

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