Nikki Nightingale & Co


It must be glamorous working…

Yeah right…!!

What most people see are the 45-minute show and the quick changes. What you don’t see is the changing area (or in one instance, the lack of). We have changed in kitchens, disabled toilets, gents toilets, a living room, or in one instance the back of a van in a high street. We have had Raining Men with ACTUAL rain. We were on a rooftop that had a leaky roof above the stage.  The ‘changing area’ which was basically a cupboard that was flooded also meant that a lot of the costumes got a little wet, and the feather boas looked a bit sorry for themselves.

Before this show, we had a previous booking in our local town’s gay bar, so had to leave there and get to London. The car overheated and we needed to get more water for the car. Both Nikki and Co were in full drag running down the Strand in raincoats, asking McDonald’s for some water for the car. At first, they gave us a children’s meal cup of water, I (Coco Canal) said, ‘how big do you think our car is? a matchbox?’ the assistant said, ‘Well that’s how much I can give you.’ Nikki came to the rescue and got the manager to give us more water, it took us 2-3 return trips to get the car started again. We finally got to the Raining Men gig.

This wasn’t the first time we had trouble with the car.

We also had two gigs (for the first time, I’m now sensing a pattern with cars and gigs) in one day, one in Bristol and one in Exeter. We were told we would have a room at Exeter. Please also consider we live in Surrey and Hampshire. We left at 10 am. At the first gig, we were getting changed at the bottom of the stairs, so no running water at all. The last number/s of the show were Sister Act and Julies Andrews. After 12 costumes, things start to get a bit sweaty. The Julie Andrews costume was no stranger to being soaked in sweat. But as we had to do the whole show AGAIN, in only a few hours. The Julie Andrews costume then had to be wind-dried by leaving it out half out of the back window, letting it dry for half the way to Exeter, and then turning it round to do the other.

So we got to Exeter, with everything mostly dry. We found ourselves again at the bottom of some stairs, then to be told, the is no room at the hotel. EUGH. So we had two choices, sleep in the car, or travel ALL the way back home straight after. We went for the second option, driving straight home, only stopping for cigarettes, and plenty of coffee, with the cold fans, turned on full pelt, with the Act soundtrack playing, and the windows turned down. We got home at 8 am the following morning. Needless to say, the poor car couldn’t take it any more, so we had to get a new one!