Thursday, 15 May 2008
Elaine Paige's interview with Stiles and Drewe was "Practically Perfect in Every Way". They gave us all a potted history of their rise to fame, from the moment they met at Exeter University and their first show going down like "a pork chop at a synagogue" to standing in the back of the theatre on Broadway moved to tears over their smash hit Mary Poppins. They played a selection of their songs and I was amazed to discover that they were both really excellent singers. Elaine Paige was a fabulous interviewer but I kept longing for her to join them round the piano.
Afterwards I chatted to them both. George asked how POSSESSED was going and I told him - I'm waiting...
After a snatched coffee and food with my daughter who is at SOAS just round the corner from the Shaw I set off for Covent Garden to go to the MMD Nuts and Bolts session at the Actors Centre. This time we had a triple whammy of Mary Poppins with Stiles and Drew interviewing Julian Fellowes the book writer.
A couple of years ago I listened to Julian Fellowes lecturing about film writing at the London Book Fair, along with the late Anthony Minghella. That was the last time I saw Anthony, an old friend from my youth. It is difficult to believe that Ant is dead and that there will be no more of his sensitive and intelligent films.
Julian was just as witty and open about musical book writing as he had been about film writing. He admitted that Mary Poppins was the first stage show he had ever written. Which must give everyone hope... although he is of course a very skilled screenwriter, novelist and actor as well. They called him a 'renaissance man' - which he certainly does seem to be. His words "just keep writing" are still ringing in my head. I know he is right. I have to start the next one now. I managed to join in the discussion afterwards and later screwed up the courage to give George a copy of the POSSESSED soundtrack from Oxford.
It was an exciting day 'out of the attic'!
Posted by Teresa Howard at Thursday, May 15, 2008