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For the last few weeks I’ve been closer to home in the Harold Pinter Studio at Hackney Empire for rehearsals of Lost in Spaces. Mare Street, where the Empire is situated, is a vibrant and diverse place in Hackney, East London. From the studio’s large windows, I can look down towards Hackney Town Hall. Once, I was a Rhinestone Roller down there in the square.

Bethany, my director, takes me through some vocal exercises and one in particular really strikes a chord, to use a vocal pun. Vowel sounds, over-emphasised, making exaggerated shapes with your lips and mouth. Next, you go through the alphabet, adding a consonant, starting with B. BAY BEE BI BO BOO. And on through to Z. I change my tone and my speed. I slide up and down a scale. My throat feels a little tight to begin with but I know it is building up strength.

This week we do the first complete run through of Lost in Spaces – albeit with stops and starts and as yet no real props. There are three sections to the piece, allowing me to ‘rest’ for 3-5 minutes off stage, during transitions that will most probably feature tracks from my 90s LP, “Spiral Sky”, with a photomontage. Oh what heady days, and all the hits that never were… We will see!

Next time, off to Rich Mix for rehearsals. And mustn’t forget to mention a chance to do a tiny preview of the show at Daisy Fest in Guildford on June 4th. Hope to see lots of you there! 

As time passes with all this work and development on Lost in Spaces, I’m excited as much as I’m nervous.