I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but my role in the upcoming musical ‘Me and My Girl’ requires tap dancing. The level of incredulity amongst my college friends (I even had people knocking on my door just to ask “Is it true?!”) gives a fair indication of the challenge this poses. I’m enjoying it, though, and today’s rehearsal was spent on the dance for ‘Song of Hareford’. Sung by the Duchess, it relates the great and noble history of the Hareford family, and involves a troop of tap dancing ancestors, of which I am one. (I’m dressed up as the Archbishop of Canterbury!) We spend the preceding scene frozen as paintings, before stepping forth from the picture frames as we break into beautiful five-part harmony. It’s a classically cheesy musical theatre moment.

First night is two weeks on Tuesday, and that is a truly terrifying prospect. Our first full run is in one weeks time. The only thing I’m really worried about though is the tap dancing, and whether we guys will be up to scratch in time. The girls are sickeningly good, of course, having been tapping away ever since they could walk, and this puts the pressure on us even more. In one of the songs, the girls (along with the one guy who can actually tap dance) finish this very impressive sequence, just before we come plodding forward to make our contribution. We rapidly came to the conclusion that the only way to avoid looking like total losers is to make a big joke of our comparative incompetence. Adopting the broadest ‘Musical Theatre Face’ possible (a terrifying prospect at close range), we hurl ourselves forward with reckless abandon, hoping to inspire laughter rather than disdain. Time will tell if this is successful.

I now have that rarest of things; a day off from rehearsals. In fact, I’m not rehearsing again until Tuesday. I plan to make the most of this extra time by actually doing some work, for once, but the best laid plans, eh? Oh, interesting thing to mention before I go; the genuine Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, is coming to preach in the college chapel tomorrow evening. I wont be attending the service (not really my sort of thing), but I would have gone to the dinner had I got tickets in time. Apparently he’s providing free wine for all! If only I’d know earlier…

PS Check out my Photoblog via the link on the left, where you can see a publicity shot for ‘Me and My Girl’. Now I’ve got a digital camera I’ll be posting photos much more often, so keep an eye on the thumbnail to the left to see if I’ve posted anything new.