Fiona Duff: There’s just no substitute

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I went to see Singing in The Rain at Festival Theatre on Wednesday. It’s very good – you should try and scoot along if there are any tickets left. Anyway, at the interval my friend Amanda remarked how good the lead actor was in the role of Gene Kelly, by which I think she meant the character of Don Lockwood, star of silent movies.

I went to see Singing in The Rain at Festival Theatre on Wednesday. It’s very good – you should try and scoot along if there are any tickets left. Anyway, at the interval my friend Amanda remarked how good the lead actor was in the role of Gene Kelly, by which I think she meant the character of Don Lockwood, star of silent movies.

Amanda is the sort of girl who thinks that films are “real life”.

When I informed her that it was in fact the understudy performing that night she was amazed. We had been watching young Matthew Malthouse whose career started at the Dance School of Scotland.

I have to say that the aforementioned establishment has done a very good job as he was a very nifty mover, as well as singing his heart out while getting soaked by gallons of water falling from above.

This got me thinking – wouldn’t it be great to have an understudy who could take over whenever you are feeling a bit under the weather. James Leece, who is billed as Don Lockwood, had knackered his knee earlier in the tour.

I also have a dodgy patella, not to mention a sore back and a general urge to lie down mid-afternoon. I’d love to be able to spend a day in bed and let someone else get on with my life.

They could give the children breakfast, shout at them to get dressed and then go to work.

If I had arranged something in the evening and decided that I’d rather watch Coronation Street then they could go and socialise with my friends.

The possible downside is that which can happen to any actor who falls ill; that is that the replacement is better than the original.

There is a strong chance that my children, colleagues and friends might actually prefer my substitute and that in the end I’m left without a life at all.

Mind you, that sounds like it might make a good plot for a film so I’ll be too busy hob-nobbing in Hollywood to care.