Life, Death and Cellos
The Stockwell Park Orchestra is in trouble – could this be their final performance?
16/11/2021 | POSTED BY Rob Wilding
In January 2022, The Prize Racket is published: the fourth novel in my Stockwell Park Orchestra series. Over the summer I had a chance to interview some characters from the series.
Author of the fabulous Stockwell Park Orchestra series
I should have expected nothing less. Pearl, viola player and Queen of the Urn, smiled, leaning round an enormous three-tier cake stand. Each layer was so crammed with a mismatched assortment of biscuits and cakes, it looked like the Tower of Babel had been reimagined as a sugary game of Jenga.
IR: Yes, please. This is amazing, Pearl! You didn’t have to.
P: Oh, it’s just a few little somethings to keep us going.
IR: You are a marvel. Now – tell me about this European tour. What are you most looking forward to?
P: Well, I know David has booked our usual coach company, and they have lovely facilities on their vehicles. I think we’ve even got a little kitchenette in this one, so I can do emergency teas and coffees if we need them!
IR: Never has an orchestra been so plentifully supplied with beverages. Which reminds me, a reader has asked if you’ll be taking your tea urn on the trip, or have you been assured there will be an urn in each venue?
P: I don’t think there’s room on the coach. I’m sure David will have sorted everything out. And anyway, we might be in more of a cold juice situation, weather-wise.
IR: Do you think this heatwave will make it feel more like a holiday?
P: It’s a bit much for me, to be honest. I do like to wear a nice cardigan. The pockets are so useful. But as long as I can keep our players fully refreshed, I’ll be satisfied.
IR: A professional beverager to the last. I applaud you. And how’s the music going?
P: Eliot’s got us working hard, as usual! The quavers in the Figaro overture are a challenge, but at least it’s quite short. Pete’s probably – well. Yes.
IR: Pete’s what?
P: Oh nothing. He’ll be fine with them. Probably. Mini Battenberg?
IR: Thanks. I spoke to Eliot last week, and he seemed concerned about one particular bar of the Bruckner. Do you know why?
P: Concerned? Did he say he was concerned? Oh dear. I’m not going to – I mean – Pete and I are … oh dear.
IR: What’s going on, Pearl? Do you and Pete have something to do with that bar?
P: No! We’ll be fine. Do have a custard cream.
IR: OK. A few quick-fire questions, if you’re up for it? Bourbons or Jaffa cakes?
P: Well, it’s always nice to provide a choice, and some people really don’t like orangey bits, so –
IR: Mozart or Bruckner?
P: The violas do have gorgeous tunes in the Bruckner. But then if the Mozart weren’t so fast we might enjoy it more.
IR: Tea or coffee?
P: Would you like a top-up?
IR: No, I meant if you had to choose, which would it be?
P: What an odd question. I’m happy to make another pot?
IR: Never mind. Very best of luck for your tour. And with whatever this mystery Bruckner bar is.
P: Thank you. Golly, look at all this. Shall I pop some cake in a Tupperware for you to take home?
If you have a question for any other Stockwell Park Orchestra musician, please send it to me and I’ll ask on your behalf. Find me on Twitter @Isabelwriter, or drop me a line using the contact page on my site isabelrogers.org.
Miss Interview One? Read it here!
17/11/22 | POSTED BY Rob Wilding
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