Diary of a Pinkie virgin


Thursday 18 November
8 pm Final rehearsal in London. Pretty confident. I know my words, notes and moves. I have abs of steel from doing Proud Mary 3,000 times in front of the mirror. Roll on Saturday.
Friday 19 November
7 pm The scene on the train from Euston to Manchester is the Titanic in reverse. Everyone is trying to get on, not off. A kind man sits me in first class in a seat that comes with free gin. Things are looking up.
9.30 pm Arrive in Manchester. Track down some well watered Pinkies to Via on Canal Street. It’s the club with a thousand stairs but I’m lubricated from gin and climb them like a mountain goat. God knows how I will get down. It’s not until the early hours that I check in at the hotel, drink tea, go to bed.
Saturday 20 November
1 pm Brunch with the Pink Singers and manage to deny that in seven hours I will be on stage.
3 pm Rehearsal. After a vigorous warm-up we go through every song. My voice breaks on the top G in Cantique. I don’t let it phase me – it’ll be alright on the night.
5 pm We meet with Gay Abandon from Leeds and the Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus to run through Soul Wind.
6 pm Stage rehearsal. A stage? Empty seats? Will there really be people sitting on them? A sell-out performance you say? I’m new and fairly sure I don’t know the songs well enough. I’m the only Pinkie in a wheelchair and there will be dance routines. Was this whole thing a mistake?
7 pm Back to the dressing room for a wardrobe change. Several safety pins later and my dress is firmly secured. I put on my trademark Pink Singers corsage and try not to panic.
7.58 pm Deep breaths. No turning back now.
8 pm Enter stage right. I wait for the opening bars of Proud Mary. Thankfully my hips go in the same direction as everybody else. The crowd are really enjoying this number. I sing my little heart out.
8.05 pm Simon and Jonathon introduce us as we catch our breaths before Deep River.
8.10 pm The beautiful introduction to Cantique de Jean Racine begins courtesy of Naomi our pianist. I hit that top G perfectly.
8.15 pm. Alice is doing an amazing job conducting her first concert and guides us effortlessly through And So It Goes.
8.20 pm We move into positions for Send in The Clowns. I catch sight of audience members nodding appreciatively. This is one of the best things I have ever done.
8.25 pm Our final number, Choo Choo Ch’Boogie has taken hours of preparation. Who knew left-left-right right-right-left could be so complicated?

8.30 pm That was it? I was just getting going. We take our bows and exit to much applause. I want to do it again! Backstage everyone congratulates newbies Alwyn and myself on popping our Pinkies’ cherries. We wait for 10 when we rejoin the other choirs on stage for Soul Wind.
10 pm The finale. It’s a hit with the audience and we come back for an encore. Fantastic. As the evening draws to a close I think back on the past two months. I only joined the choir in September. Time has flown by. I’ve had so much fun, been introduced to the new concept of choreography and made so many friends. If only I could get that catchy basses’ Soul Wind line out of my head.

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