Tuesday, October 11, 2011
1990: The sky is still blue
Through my flatmate at the time I knew quite a few people, locally. Her old schoolfriends were dotted all over the place, with a bit of a concentration nearby.
One favourite - but for all the wrong reasons, was a girl let's call Marshy. Big, tall, blonde, loud, super-posh, a hoot and a bore by turns, she was a would-be actress who was forever disappointed. She'd often call in floods of tears because the part she was after had gone to someone else and how there was simply no justice in the world. Other times she'd be hysterically happy because she had landed a coveted role.
My mum was there for one of these phonecalls, and thought it was the most exciting thing to have an actress call to tell you she'd got the part, and wasn't it fun living in London, etc., like she was in an episode of Man About The House when mother visits. If only she knew. One tried to be sympathetic when it all went tits up but couldn't help but giggle at the high drama. The highs were as exhausting as the lows. She was born to go on the stage.
Thing is though, her career wasn't really happening. She'd do the odd play upstairs in a pub but Sir Trevor Nunn was nowhere to be seen, Hollywood was not knocking her door down and even The Bill was full-up. As many actresses can be, she was a terrible attention seeker, at any party she'd have to be the centre of attention. I recall cringing until I was nearly dead when she made someone turn off the music so she could sing Roxanne acappella with her eyes shut, really feeling it. She only knew a couple of lines and she made them go a long way.
She started dating my brother, who was my other flatmate, and the two of them were a sight to see. He was smaller and slighter in those days, and they brought to mind Dudley Moore and wife - her towering above him. It didn't last long. She was too high-maintenance. He dreaded answering the phone.
She once had a party at her place, but instead of just being allowed to mingle and chat and enjoy yourself she made everyone sit down on the floor then move two people along to talk to someone they'd not yet talked to. When everyone refused she bolted the front door, stood on a chair and burst into tears about what a disaster it wall was and would everyone just do as they're told! She had to be practically wrestled to the ground so everyone could make a dash for it. I've heard of living theatre, but really...
One day in our kitchen, gazing out the window as the sun set low on a hazy November afternoon, this song playing on the radio, Twin Peaks all the rage, I remarked to her that I just knew she was going to be a huge, huge star.