I dreamed a dream... the master of the house liked musicals

You never can tell a musicals fan. They are concealed in plain sight

Share
Related Topics

On the bus I take to work each morning there's a sign that reads
"it's easy to spot ticket inspectors, they look just like you". I
doubt that many transport enforcers finish their look, like I do on
cold days, with a blanket filched from Virgin Atlantic wrapped
around their knees, but the point is that they are among us,
concealed in plain sight. Just like fans of musicals.

A friend of mine, who I shan't name because I value my kneecaps, got me thinking about it. A nice chap, bit of a lad, into his footie and clever American novels, has been avidly awaiting the release of Les Miserables at the cinema (less than two weeks to go. But he's already got his tickets). The trailers have been watched and rewatched. The book has been downloaded. The soundtrack, I'm afraid to say, has been leaking out of his headphones. Oh all right, I've been egging him on a bit too. Humming "Do you hear the people sing?" to set him off, showing him YouTube videos of "Master of the House". I don't love it in the way he clearly does, but I saw it as a 13-year-old, and all its po-faced, non-ironic bombast and epic songs appealed to me then and have left a certain fondness behind.

Similarly, you wouldn't know a musicals refusenik if they passed you in the street. A colleague on the arts desk who I assumed would like a bit of the old jazz hands (a spot of Starlight, a dash of Joseph) flinched at their names. My husband went one further. "Do you fancy going to see Les Miserables?" I asked, fairly sure that his answer would be no, but he went one better. "I'd rather DIE. Wait, I'd rather have my head chopped off. That would be more appropriate". The fuss he made about avoiding the trailer for the film version of Mamma Mia would make you think it was a Greek tragedy set over six hours sung in the original language. You might imagine someone with this developed a sense of drama would love a bit of misery theatre with songs thrown in, but no. He can't even cope with movie musicals: he lasted five minutes in Sweeney Todd.

He's a militant musical-theatre atheist. I'm ... agnostic. Is there a Jesus Christ Superstar? I don't know. I haven't seen it because I always thought that songs and stigmata were unhappy bedfellows. But I love a bit of Joseph. And I suppose there's a fair bit of slaying in that. I also had a teenage flirtation with The Rocky Horror Show. I say flirtation, I could probably still recite the entire script, plus songs, off by heart. That's more of a long-term relationship. This production particularly draws my husband's ire. I think it's because he got it out on video once thinking it was going to be a slasher flick. I can see you'd be a bit perplexed when the action unfolded. Actually, I suppose in this instance you probably can spot its fans – they're unlikely to look like you unless you're a six-foot bloke in a basque or a girl with Bride of Frank-N-Furter hair.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A picture posted by Lubitz to Facebook in February 2013  

Andreas Lubitz: Knee-jerk reaction to 9/11 enabled mass murder

Simon Calder
The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, presides at the reinterment of Richard III yesterday  

Richard III: We Leicester folk have one question: how much did it all cost?

Sean O’Grady
The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss