Melissa Todd: When play rehearsals mean the gin disappears

Preparing for the stage

Mr Todd is putting on a couple of plays in November! November 16, 17 and 18, in fact, at the Sarah Thorne theatre in Broadstairs. Get your tickets now. It’s selling fast. I’m not performing, but I’ll be there every night all the same, conducting interviews at the interval, demanding to know what you thought. Why, if you’re sufficiently complimentary, you might have your thoughts filmed and placed on our website,, where your face might be seen by two or perhaps even three people! First, there’s a serious play about social mobility, then for pudding a Jeeves and Wooster-based romp. Both truly excellent, thought-provoking and funny in turn. Seriously, see husband now before he takes the world by storm. You’ll want to boast how you knew him before he was a household name.

For now, rehearsals are busily agogo, and mostly, happening at our house. I come home from work each day to encounter scores of actors, not, as one might expect, emoting busily all over my kitchen, having melt-downs, pouting lovingly into any reflective surface, but instead, by and large, drinking my gin. Gosh, they’re a thirsty bunch. Hungry too. I thought I’d stockpiled in plenty of time for Brexit, but five actors and one teenage son have made a mockery of my carefully ordered larder. It’s yawningly empty as I write, as if we’d been simultaneously overrun with lusty locusts, workhouse waifs and army ants. I suspect son is to blame for the disappearance of baked beans, pasta and tinned peaches, but look to actors for the vanishing olives, cashew nuts, crisps and wine. They’ll never fit into their damn costumes at this rate.

Raid on the Roses

Cheering moody actors with cheap wine – is that tax deductible? I’ve genuinely no idea. Awkward, as I’m in charge of the budget, as well as the marketing. I seem to spend a lot of time blubbing near council officials, begging them to put up posters and take leaflets. Men will agree to anything, I’ve discovered, to stop a woman crying, a fact I’m prepared to shamelessly, wholeheartedly exploit. Other than that, now the script is typed and printed, my job seems to consist of buying crisps, perfecting Instagram tags, and staying out of the way. Lord knows, I’ve had worse jobs.


So please book tickets, or my gin will have vanished in vain. Anyway, it’s dead good – the show, that is, not the gin. Definitely the best thing that’s ever happened in Broadstairs. For heaven’s sake don’t miss it.

Right of Entitlement and An Aunt too Many are showing at the Sarah Thorne at 7.30pm on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th November, and Sunday 18th November at 2.30pm. Tickets can be purchased by calling 01843 863701 or visiting the Sarah Thorne Theatre website