Thursday, 5 December 2013

'That Day We Sang' 1st Preview Show Today

Faye struck lucky this year when she was handed the parts of Edna & Ann in Victoria Woods play 'That Day We Sang'.

Not only does this mean she'll have the opportunity to perform at the iconic Royal Exchange Theatre for the first time but it also means she'll be able to spend Christmas at her family home in Manchester.

Check out their beautiful tree.

And there appears to be no sign of that HUGE spider that had sneaked in for Holloween.

After a month of rehearsals they're ready to go and tonight they'll take to the stage for the first preview show.

I'd like to wish Faye and all the cast best wishes for a fantastic opening night. Break a leg guys.

Hopefully they remember to do the Penguin Warm Up.

Not sure I can spot Faye in that shot? Maybe she's taking the pic?

Below is a lovely interview / article about the play from the Manchester Evening News:

Victoria Wood: I’m making a song and dance of a Mancunian love story

The popular playwright, screen-writer, actor and director, who began her career as a multi-talented entertainer, has won more BAFTAs than anyone and is the first woman to be honoured by the Writer’s Guild.
‘I love getting awards and anyone who says they don’t  is a big fat liar,” Victoria Wood roars with laughter.

The popular playwright, screen-writer, actor and director, who began her career as a multi-talented entertainer, has won more BAFTAs than anyone and is the first woman to be honoured by the Writer’s Guild.

“I couldn’t believe I was the first woman to receive this award because I regard writing as a gender-free zone but it was still an honour,” she says.

She’s won a plethora of  gongs in her career as one of Britain’s best-loved comedians and creator of series like Victoria Wood as Seen on TV, Dinnerladies and Acorn Antiques The Musical. Indeed she’s still in touch with long-time friend Julie Walters who also appeared in that series.

“Although nowadays we communicate more by email as we’re both so busy,” Victoria shrugs.

“Sometimes we’ll even bump into one another at awards. But if I don’t win something I’m nominated for I just pretend I don’t really care but of course if you do win – it’s a big thing and I love it!”

Victoria’s in fine fettle and she’s eager to talk about the project that’s bringing her back home to Manchester.

“About a year ago I had a telephone call from Sarah Frankcom, artistic director of the Royal Exchange, who asked if I’d be interested in revising my play That Day We Sang for the Exchange.

“I’d originally written and directed it for the Manchester International Festival in 2011 and although I’d never forgotten it, I felt it was too expensive to tour – so of course I said ‘yes please’ Initially it had all been a bit rushed – writing and directing a play within the few months allocated by the festival – particularly as it involved a few school choirs.

“I set it in the summer of 1969 when insurance clerk Tubby and secretary Enid meet on stage at the Free Trade Hall. Granada Television are recording a documentary celebrating the 40 years since they first stood there as children singing their hearts out accompanied by the HallĂ© Orchestra.

“Although I talked to a couple of people in their nineties who’d been in the choir at that time, it’s not really about the recording of Nymphs and Shepherds, it’s just about two people looking back at what their lives were then and what they could be now.”

Although Victoria was a pupil at Bury Grammar School she wasn’t in the choir.

She remembers:?“I played in the school band and we were pretty bad. But we had lots of music at home because, although my mother wasn’t particularly interested, my dad played the piano.”

Winning New Faces in 1974 launched Victoria’s career. Now her daughter Grace is carrying on the musical tradition and is currently immersed in opera studies at London’s Guildhall School of Music.

Her son Henry left university when he was offered a job in music and is currently back home writing songs – much to his mum’s delight.

The children regularly see their father, Victoria’s ex-husband Geoffrey Durham, who lives round the corner.

“In fact Daniel Rigby, who appeared in Eric and Ernie, which I wrote about the early years of Morecambe and Wise,  is staying with me at the moment and I remember we did a lot of filming around Bury where I grew up and that was a very nostalgic time for me.”

Although there’s no-one special in Victoria’s life at the moment, she’s enjoying the single life. “Now the children are adults, I enjoy the freedom I have to work without worrying if they’re home alone! But I do like to be busy and as Sarah Frankcom and I hit it off from the start I told her I didn’t want to co-direct.  We’ve had several discussions and I’ve done some rewrites and added a song or two. I sat in on the casting and made suggestions but I’m actually more than happy to hand my baby over to her as she knows that stage much better that me.”

So what can Royal Exchange audiences expect?

“It’s basically a Mancunian love story set against the background of The Wimpy, The Golden Egg and Piccadilly Gardens with a bit of singing and a few dance numbers.

“Nigel Lilley is again looking after the music but there’s going to be some brass band arrangements which I’m really looking forward to hearing.”

And what next for Victoria? “Well I don’t want this to detract from what Sarah’s doing on stage at the Exchange but I’m actually filming a screen version of That Day We Sang for BBC Television.

“We’re not talking about a huge budget film we’re keeping it real and I’m not going to make an appearance. But I’m really excited because I’m going to direct and we’re filming in Manchester of course. We’re hoping it will be on our television screens over Christmas 2014.”

That Day We Sang is at the Royal Exchange theatre from December 5 to January18. For tickets call 0161 833 9833 or visit

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