Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
Go, bid the soldiers shoot
Sherlock Holmes breathed in and out, in and out, in and out, before slowly rising from his place on the dusty London theatre stage and staring out at the audience. The applause was positively thunderous and the wolf whistling was the loudest it had been during their 12 week run.
‘It’s all a bit pedestrian really’ Sherlock thought to himself, but he bowed with the rest of the cast and accepted his bouquet of flowers as was custom. He stepped forward from the rest of the cast and took another bow by himself, which received, if it was even possible, a more thunderous and rapturous applause and a standing ovation. The edges of his mouth tilted up slightly at this and he gave a gracious wave to the crowd, giving a half bow and mouthing ‘thank you’ to either side of the theatre and then the centre. He followed this by gesturing to his cast mates again, and they all gave another bow. They all bowed together one final time before the curtain was lowered and Sherlock’s demeanour changed instantly. His mouth turned down, he threw the bouquet of flowers at his dresser and stalked off the stage to his dressing room, slamming the door closed behind him.
Sherlock Holmes hated closing night. He absolutely, without a doubt HATED closing night. This time even more so, the weight of knowing he had no additional projects lined up, nothing to go on with after tonight. There was no work forthcoming. No work! The work was his life, and his life was the work. The work was his passion; it was what he lived for, without it, what was left really. But at the moment, despite the critical acclaim apparently out in the ‘never never’ about his leading actor performance, 'his best ever' according to some so called critics, there was still no DAM work!
He flopped down onto his couch, still in full make up and costume and sighed heavily. His fingers came to rest just under his chin, as his legs created an almost V-shape for his body, as they hung over the end of the couch. One day he would get a dressing room couch that was long enough for him to properly lie down on. There was a sharp rap on the door and his dresser, a young man named Steve, came in with the flowers. He set them down on Sherlock's make-up table and then proceeded to stare at Sherlock till the actor stood, with huff, to be helped out of his costume, one final time.
Steve was the only dresser Sherlock had ever had, well the only dresser who had actually stuck around for any length of time. Steve took none of Sherlock’s bullshit. If Sherlock decided to have a tantrum about some aspect of the production be it the other actors’ below par performance, the problems with the props, the way the director was making all the wrong choices or ‘god forbid’ by giving him the wrong costume, Steve would just stand in silence, let him rant and rave, and at the end of it all ask 'if he was quite done we have a show to get ready for.' That was why Sherlock tolerated Steve, 'liked' was too strong a word to use.
Once Steve had finished helping him out of his costume, Sherlock was left in his under shirt and pants. Steve turned to walk away with Sherlock’s costume for the final time. Sherlock cleared his throat. Steve looked up, a small amused smile on his lips.
‘I… ah… just wanted to say… thank you for your excellent services during this run.’ Sherlock said extending his hand towards Steve, as was social convention. Steve smiled and grasped Sherlock’s offered hand, giving it a quick squeeze and a firm shake.
‘No worries Sherlock, I have enjoyed it.’ Steve winked at him.
‘And I’m sure I’ll be seeing you ‘round’ soon than you think’ and with that Steve walked out, leaving Sherlock slightly dumbfounded by his sentiment and what appeared to be knowledge about upcoming projects. He shook his head sharply, he had bigger things to worry about. Sherlock began his post-show ritual of first removing all his make-up quite carefully, before heading for a quick shower.
Once back in his dressing room he changed into a pair of denim jeans and a plain black t-shirt. He still had to grace stage door for the final time before he headed back to his hotel room. He would not be partaking in the closing night party that he had been informed was happening. He sighed, lightly rubbing a towel through his wet curls as his mobile buzzed on his dresser.
‘Lestrade!’ Sherlock pronounced upon answering the call.
‘Sherlock! Congratulations mate, last show and all. Are you sure you won’t reconsider going to the party?”
‘You know very well I will not be changing my mind on that particular topic. But that is not the reason for your call, so do continue.’ Sherlock heard Lestrade sigh.
‘Right straight down to business then. I’ve got a couple of commercials in the works for you, a little bit of sponsorship possibly for a sporting company, but I shall talk to you about them at our meeting next week. The big news is, you have been invited for an audition next Friday at 10am.’ Lestrade stated, his voice sounding light but carrying a worried undertone. Sherlock shook his head as Lestrade prattled on.
‘It’s something a little bit unconventional for you, probably not something you would usually audition for, but you have been invited by the productions producers so it’s a privilege and a pretty big deal…’
‘Spit it out already Lestrade!’ Sherlock ran a hand over his face. He had already resolved himself during his post show shower to take the next audition he was offered, not matter what the role. He needed something to focus his mind on, or else he may end up somewhere he never wanted to be ever again in his entire life.
‘It’s Priscilla Queen of the Desert the Musical mate. Sherlock they want you to come read for them. They seriously want you to play one of the lead drag queens, Felicia to be precise!’
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John Watson closed his laptop with a sharp snap and threw it onto the sofa of his hotel room.
Only one more press junket event and then I can go home He thought to himself. Back to London!
Oh god how he had longed for London in all his hours stuck in this hotel room. The scrunity from the Hollywood Press was just insufferable sometimes. He wished they would just leave him be. They got it all wrong anyway. The women he was seen out with were merely friends, he didn’t exactly bat for their team, but there was no way he was going to tell the Hollywood Press that! Sure there were already a number of actor who were ‘out’ as it were, including probably most noticeably to John, Neil Patrick Harris. But John knew that if it ever got out his Hollywood contracts would dry up immediately for such masculine roles as Captain America. Whilst it shouldn’t matter, it did, especially to the thin skins of Hollywood.
John did have to admit that playing Captain America was obviously every actor’s dream – not to mention a dream of almost every young boy who happened to have heard of the super hero. Not only was it playing a boyhood hero but it was a job that would keep on giving for years to come, particularly with more movies in the series to be made, as well as being a part of the Avengers series. But John was sick of it. He just wanted to go back to his first love, to his first passion. It was a little known fact in Hollywood, but John Watson had started out his career in England as part of many tour musicals. His first role had been as an ensemble member of the Blood Brothers touring cast. He’d spent a number of years on the touring circuit before he was seen by a scout from America for Universal Studios, and then that was it. He had been doing Hollywood blockbusters since then.
John retrieved his laptop from the couch and decided to check his email. He had asked Mike (his agent) to scope out any possible productions that may be coming up back in London, and if that was not an option, then look into flats for him in London so he could come back for a few months and take some time off. To his surprise the latest email in his inbox, sent only 10 minutes ago was from said agent. It had no subject line and only contained three words
CALL ME NOW
John scrambled for his mobile, punching in the familiar number for Mike.
‘Backrow Productions have bought the rights to make a stage musical of the Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Dessert. Have you seen the movie?’
‘Mmmmm, yeah I rather enjoyed it’
‘Well its’ already had a ten day workshop in Australia, with a studio performance at the end right, and they have decided to go ahead and put the production together. But they want London to be where it begins. They want the big worldwide premier to be in London – I can tell you John there are some unhappy people in Sydney but anyway I’m getting side tracked So yes they are turning it into a stage musical, you follow?’ John nodded, but realised Mike couldn’t see him.
‘Yeah Mike, go on, what does this have to do with me?’
‘Well you know how you were complaining…. No lamenting to me the other day that you just wanted to go home to musical theatre, well John they want you to read for them as one of their drag queens. The want you to read for Tick, you know the Hugo Weaving role!’
‘Bloody hell! Seriously Mike, you’re not just pulling my leg?
‘Seriously mate, this is no joke! They want you, next Friday 10am.’
‘Mike… I mean… oh my god… I’m coming home!’ the smile almost spread from one side of John’s face to the other and he leapt off the couch and let out a small ‘whoop’. Sitting down again, taking a deep breath, John continued.
‘Who else are they looking at?’
‘They are looking at an Australian guy by the name of Michael Caton for the role of the mechanic Bob; never heard of him, so have no idea what he is actually like but apparently his is in a famous Australian movie called ‘The Castle’, I’ll rent it out, have a look and get back to you, they want Tony Sheldon for the Terence Stamp role of Bernadette; just between you and me I think he is an absolute shoe-in and… you’ll never guess this one… for the classic Guy Pearce role of Felicia, they are interested in Sherlock Holmes’