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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Monday, October 26, 2009

1984

Not the book, the year.

It was the year when I rubbed shoulders with the great and the good.

Laurence Olivier Award
The Society of West End Theatre renamed the unromantic-sounding SWET awards The Oliviers. They had judging panels consisting of "experts" (well-known people who may or may not have a direct connection with the theatrical form they were judging) and "members of the public".

The judging teams were for Theatre (including Musicals), Dance and Opera, and I managed to get on the Opera panel.

The list of panelists from the awards ceremony programme included the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, restaurant critic Fay Maschler, ballerinas Beryl Grey and Belinda Wright, MP Kenneth Robinson and broadcaster Roy Plomley, OBE, creator of Desert Island Discs, a VERY long-running radio show.

And me.

Melvyn (now Lord) Bragg had withdrawn so that his new musical The Hired Man could be considered for nomination.

Among the performers nominated were Leonard Rossiter, Glenda Jackson, Vanessa Redgrave, Ian McKellen, Julie Walters and Brenda Blethyn.

Including the awards dinner, my free tickets and programmes came to nearly £1000, which was even more in 1984 than it is today.

The winning opera production was Janacek's laugh-a-minute From The House Of The Dead performed by Welsh National Opera. It's set in a Russian lunatic asylum, and is taken from the Dostoyevsky novel of the same name.

Meeting my responsibilities took a lot of time - if a touring company came to town, you could be out every evening for a week - but it was an amazing experience.

5 comments:

JoJo said...

Have you judged since then?

SnarkAngel said...

A truly amazing experience, Val!

Eliza said...

I think that probably ranks as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Val :-)

val said...

JoJo - what Eliza said!

ann said...

what a wonderful memory - i bet it doesn't feel like the experience was 25 years ago - already!

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