the day before Leicester


Hello, it feels like it’s been a while to just chit-chat. Thursday today. A long day. It’s getting darker far earlier. I’ve now experienced driving on Rivelin Valley Road in darkness a few times. It looks enchanted, but requires concentration; more evident when tired.

Start rehearsals for another show on Monday in Morley (Leeds) but that’s another story… Will just say we’re booked into Ztudio which apparently is run by Francesca MacDuff-Varley (the blonde dancer in the final three of The Apprentice 2013). This is mildly amusing, I’m not sure why. I hope the venue is very good for the team leading to lots of creativity.

Leicester O’ Leicester, here we come. So what do I actually know about Leicester? Probably not that much. Not been there too often. It’s fairly central in the country. I performed there with a fellow graduate in 1996/7 in a piece called ‘On Becoming a Woman’. I operated the live camera and didn’t inhabit the stage. Not having been there much I can’t have too strong an opinion. Yes, it has one of the largest Asian populations in the country. I imagine has many good eateries and gold jewellers. The Divali fireworks even make the national news on the occasion. The National Space Centre is there. I think I’ll stop; not sure where I’m going with this. I need to bring it back to Beneath the Surface.

Sheffield was greaaat the other day. Two whole days of other stuff happening. All the team split and gone its own way to then reconvene again tomorrow. We meet at 4pm for a 7pm event. Just thinking now, geographically Leicester’s good for all team: me from Sheffield, Kate from Nottingham, Steve and Rochi from Birmingham, Carl, Dharmesh and Rob from London.

I have a sweet friend coming tomorrow, Fran, aka my Delhi Farishta. We met last October in a queue in the International Tourist Reservation Bureau at New Delhi Train Station. I was wanting to get a Shatabadi seated class train to Punjab as soon as. The queue snaked around the room. Upon entering the room it took a few moments to work out where the end was even though it was quite neat and orderly. Fran, came in after me, and did exactly what I did, looked from one side of the room to the other, trying to assess what’s what. She asked me or I told her, and we spoke. So we ended up chatting as we snaked around the room to the help desks up front, exchanging life stories of sorts, or she learnt mine, she was very good at asking questions enabling a story to flow. With the slightest encouragement, I can talk.

I wasn’t able to get a train. The earliest I could get was a sleeper train arriving the following morning. Fran very kindly offered for me to dump my ruck sack in her room, rest there if needed and hang out too doing some touristy things if desired. Dharmesh5It was so very open hearted of this woman I’d just met and I was very touched. We did hang out and have some fun. The moment before the altercation in Old Delhi at the Jama Masjid (Shah Jahan’s mosque in his Shajahanabad), in hindsight was a highlight. Noticing that we were foreigners a local guy tried to rip us off by charging Fran an entrance fee. Rochi1These moments can get so fraught; yet on another level it’s about survival and opportunity/enterprise/exploitation/an easy buck. Ah, yes, we also went to one of my favourite haunts in Delhi, Humayun’s Tomb (the second Mughal Emperor). Walking through the main archway, the building appears as if from nowhere, sitting serene and elegant. The char bagh design aids perspective. And then when facing any eighth aspect  you feel a satisfaction in the pit of your stomach from the symmetry  of the structure. Fran was good fun, a kindred spirit to connect with in a vast city over 10-11 hours. It will be very lovely to see her tomorrow, She’s coming with her brother.

So tomorrow night we’re in Leicester. We hope for a good crowd of men, women, gay, straight, Asian, other, just people! Book your tickets here.



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