...so S has just had a fairly major death in the family, and I'm feeling pretty terrible having just paid him out in prose (unbeknownst to him of course). However he had his first show in town last night and was in remarkably good form, so I thought I'd relate an anecdote from our three months on the road together (which I was going to do anyway, really!)...
It was about six weeks in, the tour was up and running, and some dates were approaching where the production company (for some unknown reason) decided to offer three nights of accommodation at a Butlins.
For anyone not from the UK, Butlins is a chain of ultra-cheap holiday camps dotted around the country, infamous for getting exactly what you pay for.
I didn't quite know how I was going to break this one to the band, but I had a fair idea how they'd react. I had already accepted staying there - it would end up only being two nights for me, and I guess it was part of the adventure. The three English members, well aware of the situation, all opted out immediately. The two continental members however were quite unknowing, even though S had been here for ten years!
On my weekend home beforehand, E and I found photos this particular one on the internet and it looked uncannily like a concentration camp - six miles from town, a complex of long blocks of flats in the middle of nowhere by the sea.
I rejoined the tour on the second day of their stay, and when I met S and G at the theatre they were pissed off, and rightly so I suppose. Having been an effective employee of this production company for more than two years now, one becomes glazed over to the liberties it regularly takes with people who work for it.
Cabbing back there after the show however, the situation turned a little for the better. Unlike the norm, where everyone's accommodation was dotted throughout whatever town we were in, dancers and crew were only in the next block over, and there was absolutely nothing to do out there, so S decided to cook his Pasta Of Love. Word spread to our two favourite dancers who were torn between joining us or the crew for spicy pepper soup (I think they somehow ended up making it to both!)
It was a rubbish situation and everyone had complained far more than enough about it, but at the end of the day, literally, everyone made do...some of us even enjoyed the camaraderie of staying in the one place, a holiday camp after all.
I couldn't believe how S made it and so simply...pasta, tomato sauce, olive oil, a little salt, but cooked and timed absolutely to perfection with generous helpings of parmesan. I've never had pasta quite like it, before or since...and there we were, the three immigrants of the tour, in the flat, waves breaking in the night breeze not far away.