It was just about there. The play that is. It's called "Memory of Water", and I had finally managed to drum the lines into my own, apparently slightly absent, memory. Well, just about. The odd word in the wrong order, and the odd line slightly shorter than originally written, but it was more or less there and I felt comfortable with the part. Finally.
We performed the first night and were given a warm response by the audience.
The second night my biggest fan, my longest supporter of all things artistically pursued by me, and biggest critic, was in the audience. My Mum.
My parents, just back from a cruise holiday, slightly late due to a storm in the Atlantic a diversion via the Bay of Biscay had been due to watch the first night. As it was, it was the second night, and just my Mum. My Dad had had a long drive from the port, and knew that he would have another long drive home the next day, and so decided to give the play a miss.
So, we started the show.
All was going well. I exited the stage in the middle of a speech to collect an item - all part of the action.
And then as I went back on stage again, I flew.
Had this been Peter Pan or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, in London, this would not of course been a problem. But "Bare Bones Theatre Company", performing in rural Herefordshire do not stretch to wire for flying purposes.
So when I landed, in front of the stage, with my leg twisted in the wrong direction, bringing part of the set with me, it did ring a few alarm bells with the director who had been watching from the back of the auditorium. The audience seemed to think that the flying was part of the action. Ambitious for rural Herefordshire. Flying from a four foot stage.
I needed to say my next line. "Brown one and half pounds of shin of beef in a heavy casserole, remove and set aside." All I could think about was that line. I was lying on the floor, in front of the stage feeling very faint, and thinking about shin of beef in a heavy casserole, when in fact it was my own shin that was causing a bit of a problem. Well o.k., knee.
Somebody arrived with a pillow, the cast and crew had by now all gathered around me, and a very knowledgable man who seemed to know lots more about joints and things than everyone else said that I should really go to hospital. I asked if he was a doctor. Somebody said he was a vet. That would have done in the circumstances, but in fact he was neither, just more knowledgeable than the rest of us...
No, no I said. I won't need to go to hospital. I think I'll be fine. It feels much better now. So I stood up, ready to continue and my leg collapsed underneath me in a sort of slightly graceful but highly inappropriate way. And as I did, the room spun and within seconds I was down on the floor again.
At the check in desk in casualty I was all ready to announce how the accident had happened. However my kind chauffeur, hubby of fellow actor, had already announced my mishap when collecting a wheelchair for me to travel from car to hospital entrance. It appears that falling off a stage is not a common accident in a casualty department. I can't think why. It caused a ripple of amusement amongst the staff behind the check in desk, so I was glad to be able to provide them with something to give them a chuckle on a Saturday evening at 8.30 p.m.
Daughter number two - child number three - was with me, as was my Mum. Hubby then arrived, with my Dad, who, (realising that we would have great difficulty in rescuing my car) instead of having a quiet night in, in huge house with huge mortgage for huge family with no heating, decided that he might like instead to drive my car home from rural village, to save my mother the job of doing same such thing. It meant that he would have a couple of hours of warmth at least. He probably realised by then where he would be better off.
It was a bit like a family party really.
Except for the the setting, which wasn't too salubrious. For a Saturday night out with the family. Although, as hospitals go, Hereford is very nice, and new, and clean. And even though I wasn't allowed any myself, the vending machine provided stuff that was, well available....
And it has to be said that in a crisis the NHS is pretty good really. The staff were lovely.
When I went into x-ray though, I did feel mortally wounded that they didn't even ask me if I was likely to be pregnant. I mean I know that I am 44, and I know that I was in pain, and feeling faint, and that my vanity wasn't the most important issue at stake here, and it's not as if I am planning on any more children, BUT Cherie Blair had a baby at 45, so I'm not SO decrepit that they shouldn't ask! And I was wearing stage make-up, so I looked better than normal too. So they could have asked... But they didn't....
For my little moment of glory I started to tell each one of the staff that I came into contact with what had happened. The triage nurse, a nurse who needed to prod and poke me, the radiographer, the doctor...................
They knew already.
News like that travels fast....
And now I have crutches, a leg support, a very wobbly knee that doesn't seem to want to support the lower part of my leg, and a cocktail of drugs that would keep the average addict going for a good month. I'm told there is nothing broken, but apparently ligament damage can't be seen on an x-ray...........
So back to Hereford on Monday where I have an appointment to see someone who can throw more light on the injury we hope..........................
And in the meantime, they did the show without me. I was "read in". Bare Bones, broken bones, break a leg.
Sally's writing is about being a mother of five, now all too grown up, children, (four girls, one boy) a husband, a dog, and a serious ambition to be a mortgage free and famous actress, voice over artist, broadcaster, writer and teacher.
The "Cast" List for the blog includes:
Hubby - Her husband,
ED - Eldest Daughter,
ESOS - Eldest son only son,
Sensible - Second daughter,
Gymnast - Third daughter,
Tinkerbell Mushroom - Youngest daughter and youngest child,
Mad Dog - AKA Lucy - the border collie.
Guest appearances by MIL (mother in law), parents, two brothers, inlaws, nephews, nieces and great nephew.