Yesterday I broke my shoulder in a cycling accident on the way to rehearsals. I’m OK and feel very glad to be alive. Seeing as our play opens at Brighton Festival next Saturday 5 May, we all agreed that the best plan is to go on with the show. But playing a scout bee is very physical work and I need time to heal properly. Director Gemma Fairlie has very generously stepped in to fill my waggle dress and beehive wig and will wear my wings of steel when we open.
After spending half the day in casualty I returned to Bee Detective HQ and saw our beeautiful tent for the first time. Gemma gently broke the news to me that we’d have to take me out of the role until Cardiff Unity Festival. I was disappointed of course, but I wrote the show, which means I’ll always be in it even if I’m not onstage. And I’ll be able to watch one of my own plays for the first time ever. I’m so proud of it, and of how my talented co-bees have taken to their roles, and Gemma will be a brill detective, so I’m confident the children will adore it with or without me.
In fact the day before my accident we did a run through in front of a class of discerning 6-7 year olds in South London. Even without the set or full costumes, they absolutely loved it and really wanted to get involved and help Sophie Bee solve the mystery. They picked up the waggle dance right away and at one point in a CSI scene a kid shouted, “Wow! Magic bees!”
As I type this blog with one wing in a sling, Gemma is speed learning my lines, and practising the signs. We’ve created such a dazzling, ambitious, funny and joyous show, there is no way we can give up now. Not after so much work by all the bees behind the scenes and onstage.
Help us spread the buzz – we are working so hard,and against the clock in order to bring you a ground breaking, creatively accessible play. Calling all children forager bees! We have a mystery to solve!