As Damian has said, his J&W readthrough was of joy, except for mild problems with Ely parking.
Now I had tried to park in Ely before, and knew that going for the free city centre car-parks on a Saturday was only going to cause doom. So I carefully consulted the very detailed Map Damian had linked to, and decided the park and ride was the right thing to do (well, park and walk, in my case). And it worked swimmingly. Despite not arriving on the edge of Ely until about 12.20, I was safely in Damian's flat before half of the readthrough, which is a fair metric of success for me.
Everyone was wonderful, and the scripts were really well picked. We did
- the one with Oswald getting pushed off the bridge, with the cats and the fish and the hat for the Seekers.
- the double bill where Madaline gets together with Gussie (and I got to be Madaline! yay!) no-one eats their dinner, there is a drunken prize giving and Jeeves locks everyone out.
- the one with the cow creamer, where Gussie ends up inadvertantly entwined around other women, and Bertie tries to remember Eulalie. (I was Bertie! Yay!)
- the one where some confidence tricksters don't steal Aunt Agatha's pearls, and boop Biffy forgets the love of his life's name
- the one with the Irish Wolf Hound where Wooster gets over his longing for a small girl with the help of Clemantine and a school speach. While writing Rosie M Banks novels and saving Tuppy from being crushed in a rugger match.
Full marks to Nick and Elise for starting us off with such a great Wooster and Jeeves (yes, thanks for raising the bar so high, you guys! ;-) ) Marcus was fabulous at everything he did, but it is his Anatole I am still laughing at this morning, Elly was a trully evil Aunt Agatha, and managed to keep the plot making sense (no mean feat) as a persistantly crying maid, it was great to meet Kat for the first time, even if she did put me to shame as Madalaine ;-) and play a perfectly obnoxious Clemantina who I just wanted to slap. Mark was the wettist Gussie in the world, Eve was, like Marcus, great at everything, and yet strangely most memorable for playing a large Irish Wolfhound. Lynnette was my Jeeves, hider of cow creamers as Rolls Royce icons, as well as an excellent Aunt Dahlia and a whole host of other things (including a little tick whose systematic cheating in pursuit of the scripture knowledge prize will lead to his downfall, and suddenly, after all these arrogant toffs, a really sweet, common, Mable. It always amazes me how much Lynette can Act. I feel I am more likely to play "Sally in the situation of Bertie Wooster" but she can just switch, and be someone else!) Holly was there, proving her ability to exist independantly of Catriona and Roz, and being the first evil aunt Agatha for all others to follow. It was great to see her again, and I'm looking forward to the underwater Cathedral. Sebby was a terrifyingly angry Tuppy (is this because we cast him as Pete in Buffy? Is he going to find his own type-casting niche as very angry men?) and a painfully annoyingly wet Sidney, in just the right way. Laura was also great as everything, and played a perfect Jeeves to Marcus's Wooster, along with another great evil Aunt Agatha and a brisk Bobbie, but it is her charmingly confused Barmy I am still giggling over. "Oh....that Kensington" Chris J was a great Jeeves to Elly's Wooster, yet again it is the small put perfectly formed parts that stick in my brain - in this case Oswald, the annoying "'s alright" child. And Chris H and Ashfae! Weren't in Scotland! Yay! Given that we would all have been over the moon just because they were there, it seemed a bit excessive of them to act so well too ;-) Elise and Chris H produced a glrious pine nut and goats cheese risotto. And Damian was a fabulous Jeeves, and a perfectly obnoxious Spode and a great and graceful organiser.
Oh dear, I've been squeeing. I can put it behind a cut.
So, err, I started getting worried when Marcus said "and I would have parked in Carpark X, but there were signs saying they shut it at 8". Now, I was parked in Carpark Y, and there most definitely hadn't been any signs about when it closed. So I read my piece of paper again, which said there were busses until 5.30 but didn't imply that it shut at all. And it was the carpark Damian had suggested we park in. So I decided that there was no point panicing, and que sera sera.
Elly, Ashfae, Sebby and I walked back to Carpark Y to find large steel gates locked across the exit. We tried the padlock, but it wasn't shifting. Much panicing ensued (mainly from me, because I'm like that - I don't know what I'd have done without my helpful friends!) We summoned Chris H and Nick back to save us. We came up with crazy plans where I stayed in Ely and tried to get the car out the next day. We walked round the perimiter of the entire car park and hmmmed and hawwed over whether the car would fit down the footpath or across the lawn.
Only then did we realise the gate was just made to look locked, and that a little careful fiddling would cause the whole thing to swing open.
So, off home to Coventry, to chat for a short while and then collapse into sleep...