Lucy Goes to London: Trouble’s A Viewin’!
A Blog of Delights by Lucy Connah, Comedy & Drama Teacher
Date: 24th February 2019
Time: Early Sunday Morning!
Location: Lucy’s house, Abergele.
Picture this. The beautiful winter morning sun is shining through my bedroom window; the smell of spring and excitement rife in the air. I am already up and dressed. I look at my watch; 7:35am. I lug my already overfilled overnight case (along with make-up bag, wash bag and treats for the journey) down the stairs and plonk them on the living room floor. My phone lights up with a text notification reading;
‘I am leaving mine in 5. Stick the kettle on!’
And that is exactly what I do! Kettle boiled, tea bags in mugs- I pour the water and watch the colour turn from a crystal clear to a deep, velvety brown. I go into my fridge, pull out my milk and…NO MILK! I have not a drop of milk in the house! HOW WILL WE EVER SURVIVE THIS ROAD TRIP?!
Panicked, I dial the only number I knew I could rely on in this situation.
‘Sioned, can you grab a pint of milk on your way?!’
Not two minutes go by before there is a knock on my door. I open to see the most beautiful sight anyone could ever see- an ice-cold pint of milk! (Sioned was also there. She looked fine. She also had a lot of bags). Our cups of tea finally finished with a splash of milk, we sit down on my sofa and do a final check list.
Note Books? Check.
No sooner had the fresh, hot tea touched the sides, we were blinded from a gleaming outside the window. Our sunshine yellow, sparking carriage awaited and we were ready to get this show on the road!
Location: The tour bus (aka April and David’s Tardis car)
With our suitcases expertly slotted in the boot of the car, me and Sioned poised on the back seats; April was riding shotgun and David our skilled driver for the carpool, we set off into the glorious sunshine. The sound of country music on the radio, excitement bubbling as we ebbed closer to the M40, we were all unanimous in the decision of our first stop; McDonald’s.
As we sat in a booth made for 4, bagels and hash browns devoured and coffee in hand; our conversation turned to the different shows, musicals and events in London. Comparing stories of shows we had seen quickly turned into talking of shows we had each been in…and then it hit me. That is when I realized what a huge opportunity this is for our students. For more than twenty years, I have loved being able to make others feel emotion through my performance on stage and how in return that made me feel. I remember the first time I got that buzz, that unique, glamorous buzz after my first live performance. Imagine the feeling our students are going to get performing on a West End Stage! A sense of pride seeped through my body, accompanied by a sense of fullness as I swallowed my last bite of Bagel. Fueled for the trip ahead, we clambered back into the PQA Party Bus (yellow Peugeot) and we hit the road; show tunes blasting from the CD player and a sense of anticipation felt by all. WE ARE GOING TO LONDON BABY!
Location: London? But like…not central London? Anyway…LONDON!
After a couple more coffee stops, our PQA Party bus came to a holt. We exited the car, stretching our legs; we turned around. Our Hotel!
After checking in, it was time to spruce up for the show that evening, but not before one more well-earned brew! We parted ways; Sioned and I shared a room on the second floor; David and April on the third. We made a pact to rekindle at 4pm- so we had plenteous time to get our bearings etc. We put on our attire; we revitalized our faces with a splash of foundation and a lick of mascara; the look completed with matching notebooks and pens. We were ready to see our first ever PQA performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre! We met in the foyer and left, ready to start that evening’s adventure.
Location: Her Majesty’s Theatre, LONDON!
As a proud Welsh lass, there are many customs to urban life that just…baffle me. My biggest baffle? How you get through the barrier to the tube. Why? You must have a contactless card. There is no one there to help you. Cash is but a distant memory in the heart of London town, for everything is yours at the tap of a button. You just tap your card to get through the barrier. You don’t need a ticket. How does it know how much to charge you? What do you keep as a memento for your journey? Why am I a seventy- nine-year-old woman in the body of a twenty- four-year-old lady? So many questions.
After multiple panicked attempts to exit the tube station, I was finally free (the others knew exactly how the Tube worked and spent the next hour laughing at me). We walked from the muffled station to the street above and were instantly hit with the hum of busy London town.
It was vibrant. It was busy. It had a burger restaurant situated every 15 steps. It was warm. It felt very special.
We turned onto the street where the theatre was and were met with bus loads of people. Mums, Dads, siblings, Aunts, Uncles, pet rocks…you name it, they were there to watch the students of PQA’s throughout the UK perform their very own musical!
We were ushered to our seats- we perfect view of the stage! The curtains were down. The stage was framed by the most beautiful sculptures I have ever seen. The air was polluted by excited grans, nervous mums and the slurps of drinks. The lights dimmed, a faint drumming noise made the audience’s heartbeats race in anticipation… a voice came over the microphone;
‘Ladies and Gentleman…Please welcome to the stage…..’
Now, I am not going to tell you all the nitty gritty of the show, because I want that to be a lovely surprise for when we as PQA Llandudno go down to see it! But I will tell you this;
The show itself is hilarious and the story is fantastic. The hours that the PQA staff put into this production to make it look and sound the way it does is unbelievable. But what really makes the show? The students. The courage to get on stage, the skill to captivate an audience, the bravery to try comic timing in front of an 800 strong audience and the guts to sing their hearts out to songs both upbeat and emotional is commendable to say the least.
I think I speak for myself, Sioned, April and David when I say I am so proud of how far our students have come with their performance skills and cannot wait to show the whole of London what we are really made of when we go down. PQA Llandudno, I cannot tell you how proud I am to be your Comedy and Drama teacher, to have watched you all grow into the stars that you are and more than anything I cannot wait until we PERFORM ON THE WEST END!