Well, it wasn't really an argument... Our 'book keeper' was arriving at
eleven, the dreaded 'tax man' at twelve and I wanted to spend a moment
with her before he did. There was Colin, ready to leave for an appointment
with Shirley Bassey to measure up for a final fitting for a 'tux' that
would make him too late to measure the girls from the T.V. Minstrel Show.
Would I go? Stage clothing, by its very nature, is always left until the
last minute. I do believe directors have such a worry over the financing
of a show that they leave the costumes to the very last and then, when
their way is clear, it's all go in a huge rush! So, not very long after
saw me seeking a black cab. It was only when I was reading the bit of
paper that Colin had slipped into my top pocket that I noticed my destination!
You really wouldn't believe some of the shabby rehearsal rooms they use
- grubby church halls, rooms over pubs - but this one beat all; it was
the Y.W.C.A. hall! "Are men even allowed in?" I asked myself.
Now, this could be embarrassing as I had absolutely no idea!
When I arrived I showed my credentials to a prim, unsmiling lady - no
wonder she had such a job for there was no doubt at all in my mind that
she wasn't keen on men or, at least, not me! "I'll phone through
to the hall and try to get someone to sign you in" she sais, adding
"This is most unusual....". A little later, a friendly face
appeared - the costume designer Belinda. I was duly signed in and followed
Belinda to the sports hall.
Every girl and group of girls that we passed gave me strange looks, and
this is when I first started to feel just a little uncomfortable. There
were twelve girls to be measured and it takes up to ten minutes each to
get a full set of measurements. I was prepared, for I had worked out already
who was supposed to be wearing what and had names at the top of each page.
Three girls broke away from the rehearsal and were measured. I waited.....
and then waited some more..... but no more girls arrived.