The Togs Blog

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Diva in the Loo

On Tuesday I ushered for 24:7 at the Palace Theatre in the Grand Tier bar. Between shows I dashed to the loo, which meant going into the darkened Grand Tier itself, the steeply raked gallery of the theatre, with its red plush seats and the staircase like a cliff-face leading down to the toilets. I opened the door to the toilets and a women's voice inside rang out: 'Well, I am a gay icon!'

I glimpsed the speaker, a woman in shorts and heels and with a mass of blonde hair applying makeup in front of the mirror, before I ducked into the nearest cubicle, slightly embarrassed at bursting in on such a conversation. She spoke again, and it was only as I was shutting the cubicle door that I realised she was now speaking to me and that no one else was present. 'I'm going over my lines,' she told me. She was in the next play (which I had not yet at that point seen), the now-famous (and sadly finished) Divas and Double Glazing.

'I auditioned for a play of yours once,' she told me through the cubicle door, and I suddenly realised who she was: Stella Grundy. That other time she came for a part as a serious and academic feminist, but this week she played to perfection the mad diva mother of the young gay hero. Oh, the magical transformations of costume - and brilliant acting, of course!


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