Tag Archives: Everyman Theatre

Only Six?

25 Feb

Many of us think of our lives as boringly normal, while others live the high life. Take a step back, and take a look at your life as an outsider might. Now, tell us at least six unique, exciting, or just plain odd things about yourself.

Odd Facts from Modern Wonder Magazine 1939

Odd Facts from Modern Wonder Magazine 1939 (Photo credit: Smabs Sputzer)

  • I can curl my tongue and my toes at the same time
  • I can tap dance
  • I cannot blow my nose in public or while wearing glasses
  • I have been on telly several times
  • I can read upside down
  • I cannot tell a joke without forgetting the punchline
  • At one time or another, I have boycotted every supermarket in which I could afford to shop
  • If you mispronounce a word in my presence, I will not hear anything you say after that
  • I have dual nationality
  • I alphabetize CDs and DVDs; books are filed in size order
  • I cannot drink coffee, or kiss anyone who has it on their breath
  • I advocate organ donation as the ultimate form of recycling
  • I have a loud and irritating laugh
  • I have had my present phone about two years and I still cannot switch it on without help
  • I am shy and easily embarrassed (not unique but probably surprising to regular readers)
  • I don’t understand people who don’t vote
  • I am short with large feet, rather like a hobbit (I dress like one, too)
  • Stray apostrophes set my teeth on edge
  • I once had a one-act play staged at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool
  • I like to trot that last one out at every opportunity
  • My definition of ‘unique, exciting, or just plain odd’ is surprisingly dull


True Lies

21 Jul

I told only one lie yesterday.

19 of my twenty statements in yesterday’s post were true.  Well done, Grannymar!  If you are amenable, your questions will be in the mail.

Here’s a run down:

  1. I once discussed unemployment with a Goon. TRUE.  The Hub and I went to see Spike Milligan’s First Farewell Tour of South Africa in 1986 and the Hub dragged me backstage afterwards, autograph hunting.  Because he took so long to persuade me, we were last in the queue.  Spike was with his wife and in an expansive mood.  We talked for about thirty minutes on all kinds of topics, but unemployment is the one I remember.  He signed my programme with a drawing of an eye, because I told him my name was spelled, ‘Tilly with an i.’
  2. My second toe on each foot is longer than my big toe. TRUE.  I am a freak.  
  3. My name translated into Greek is Hyperbole. LIE.  But it feels like it should be true.  I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m good at exaggerating.
  4. Despite being only 5′ small, I had a brief modelling career in my teens.  TRUE.  It started at a school fashion show but the model who trained us did such a good job, she got us some work: at two nightclubs and a garden centre.  I’ll rustle up some photos for you as proof.
  5. I have been tear-gassed. TRUE, when I was pregnant with Tory Boy (which explains a lot about Tory Boy).  I was working in the centre of Joburg the day it was announced that Nelson Mandela would be released, amongst other things.  There was a spontaneous outpouring of joy/excitement/fear and buildings tipped their employees out onto the streets.  No one told the police we were well-behaved, and they gassed us.  Fortunately, I was big and slow because of the baby so I only caught a whiff of it, being at the back of the crowd.

    Joburg city

    Joburg city (Photo credit: srippon)

  6. My feet have grown by two sizes since I turned eighteen.  TRUE.  The year I was twenty; and when I was pregnant with the monster who became Spud.
  7. I once accidentally used the word ‘drawer’ instead of ‘draw’ in a poem and I still blush about it.  TRUE, though it pains me to say it.  A friend pointed it out, around 1998.  I’m getting warm just thinking about it.
  8. I used to have a gun licence and a driving licence.  TRUE.  When I lived in South Africa I owned a gun and drove.  Not looking for trouble, you understand; that was the way of life out there.  I don’t drive now.
  9. I have an A Level in Law.  TRUE.  Before taking my degree, I went to college to get some study experience.  I also have A Levels in English and History.
  10. Several years ago I discovered that I am actually two inches taller than I thought I was.  Absolutely TRUE.  I freaked out: you have an idea of your identity and to discover that you are not what you think you are is disorienting.
  11. I once cooked Christmas dinner for twenty-two people.  TRUE.  All relatives.  By the time I dished up the last plate (mine), the first lot had finished eating.
  12. I am entitled to hold two passports.  TRUE.  I have South African citizenship as well as British.
  13. I have never voted Labour.  TRUE.  I would have done at eighteen but by the time  a British election coincided with my residence in the UK, I had swung to the right.
  14. The world première of my one-act play, Glug, was held at the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool.  TRUE, though world première is stretching it a bit.  I was at school.  I wrote Glug.  There had been a playwriting course for older pupils that had been so successful, it was decided to stage the resulting plays at the Everyman and use students to perform.  Unknown to me, my drama teacher gave it to two other pupils to use as an audition piece.  The man auditioning liked it so much, he included it in the evening.  Three times; three interpretations.
  15. I once appeared on Channel 4′s now defunct Big Breakfast.  TRUE.  With my family, for a week.  We were their last real Family of the Week (Lisa Scott-Lee from Steps and her brothers were the last FotW, but celebrities don’t count).  I must blog about it someday.

    Channel 4 in umbrellas

    Channel 4 in umbrellas (Photo credit: davysims)

  16. As a teenager I seriously considered joining the Young Socialists. TRUE.  I was passionate about politics in my teens and went the usual left-to-right route.  I met some of the other YS, however, and they were a little bit scary.  I’ve never been one for violently overthrowing a government.
  17. A poem of mine was turned into a work of art and displayed in an art gallery.  TRUE.  Stockport Art Gallery ran a poetry competition; the winners had their work turned into conceptual art.  Great fun!  I wanted to buy the original but the gallery wouldn’t sell, so Tory Boy and the Hub arranged a facsimile.  I’ll re-post the story next week.
  18. I once appeared in a student film despite refusing to read from the script during the audition.  TRUE.  My A Level English tutor was also the Media Studies tutor and he asked us to audition for parts in a student film.  I was to audition for the part of The Angry Mother of an anorexic girl.  I did my piece (from Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge) and sat to read blind from the script.  I took one look and said, ‘Oh, no!  I’m sorry; I can’t blaspheme.’  Andrew said he had prepared his students for over-actors, under-actors, difficult actors, drunk, high or crazy actors; but it had never occurred to him to prepare them for an actor who refused to read the script!  Despite this blip, I appeared in the (non-speaking) role of The Producer.
  19. The Hub once phoned me during an attempted coup so that I could hear the helicopter gunships flying overhead.  TRUE.  He was in Zambia and Kenneth Kaunda had raised the price of maize – the staple diet – so high, there was an attempt to overthrow him.  The Hub was in his hotel room and held the phone out of the window so I could hear the military firing on the people.  He’s thoughtful like that.
  20. I once took a bomb threat call at my place of work and caused a whole shopping mall to be evacuated in what turned out to be a hoax.  TRUE.  I was working in the office at Woolworths Balfour Park in Joburg when the call came in.  The whole mall was evacuated.  It happened a lot in the Eighties in South Africa.

So now you know: you can trust me.  95% of the time.

Hop on over to Six Word Saturday and see if they have honest people there.


RIP, Mr Postlethwaite

4 Jan

You may have seen in the news yesterday that the actor Pete Postlethwaite died, aged sixty-four.  The media has been full of his movies and his Academy Award, but his most memorable performance, I think, was in Lost For Words, a tv movie from 1999 in which he played a son dealing with his mother’s dementia.  He was superb.

Postlethwaite was born in Warrington, just up the road from Runcorn, where I grew up.  I never met him, of course; I just thought I’d throw that in.   He started his career at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre, where my own one-act play was performed (starring students, not Oscar [copyright]-nominated movie stars).  I did pass him on the street once, however: he was appearing as Prospero in The Tempest at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre.  I badly wanted to go but couldn’t afford a ticket (to see why I didn’t throw a hissy fit about that at the time, read today’s post on my other blog).  I was in Manchester for the day, for a thing Spud did with his school at The Royal Exchange, and PP passed us as we entered the building.  Amazingly, his nose was bigger and more purple than it looks in the photos.

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