Cissy’s Swan Song

I act normal, look normal (for me) and am doing all the things I normally do, but I feel very different inside. Preparing for Quartet has taken up so much of my energy and time and to suddenly be the other side of this extraordinary experience is odd, to say the least.

I feel relieved I can lay down the heavy weight of my lines. There is suddenly space inside my head for thoughts, time on my hands to read books, a comfy sofa to lounge on to catch up with Netflix and yet….
I miss Cissy!

By the end of the run I really ‘got’ her and liked her. My big pink bag was stuffed with things that Cissy needed to have with her at all times: swimming goggles, sunglasses, lip sticks, mags, snacks, spare lippies and I felt tremulous as I unpacked it the other day.

Quartet is my third show and each time I relish the closeness that develops, the team spirit that becomes almost tangible, the ‘in jokes’ that mean little to anyone else outside the magic circle.
Backstage is a crazy, creaky world; a thin board separates us from the audience and we can peep through to see who has arrived and we can hide here, thinking calming thoughts, keeping our characters under wraps until we burst out on stage, like butterflies!

I seemed to do an awful lot of bursting on to stage and I loved the way that I never startled anyone; they just rolled their eyes- ‘Oh, there’s Cissy, doing her thing’.

The set was pretty, wasn’t it? All the little touches made a huge difference, such as a real olive tree in a pot, fairy lights around the musical instruments, ivy curtains. And did you see mine and Maggie’s false magnetic eyelashes? Actually, the whole make up thing was so nice. We had one of those Hollywood mirrors with lights and Laura the make up artist made the whole experience feel really glamorous in an old fashioned way. All that was missing were bouquets sent back stage by our admirers!

Favourite bits?

  • Chatting with Jean about the meaning of life
  • Diving into the costume box
  • ‘Singing’ at the end.Thank you Sue for choosing me for Cissy and thank you my other ‘Quarters’ for making us into a glorious, eccentric, hilarious whole! And, a special Cissy thank you to everyone who nurtured us, supported us and enjoyed the ride alongside us!

Cissy xxx