We Are Here: Love Never Dies
What a guy! Or will churlish Raoul put down his drink long enough to fight for her? Spoiler alert: The answer to the last one is no. There are two or three hopefuls, including the title song, but none comes close to that classic, despite the best efforts of the cast and a crack orchestra led by Dale Rieling. The opera-trained coloratura Meghan Picerno is a wonder as Christine; she received the biggest applause Wednesday night for her soaring vocals.
Their leering glee made me want to see that show.
It is the 'mix' that can make or break a finished recording. We needed a place where we could work without distractions. Nigel and I both have houses in the last great village in the Mediterranean: Deia, Majorca. So we built a temporary studio in my home and brought all the talent that we needed to stay nearby. It was a fantastic experience.
If I had an idea at 2am, the makeshift studio was ready and waiting. If we were bored, the pool beckoned. But I had other problems at 2am. Throughout the night I was desperate to go to the bathroom - it was little, but far too often. I had an irritating burning sensation, which I put down to a mild infection.
When my wife Madeleine joined me later in the summer she worried about the problem. It was not doing bundles for our sex life. By this time I was nipping backwards and forwards to London for various Love Never Dies listening sessions. So I went to my London GP who did some basic tests.
No infection showed up.
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So I soldiered on. It was a crucial time for me. My theatre team were on the stage of the Adelphi Theatre creating the magic illusions for Love Never Dies. From time to time a pair of gorgeous female legs passed by me with no upper body. But I was unable to stop nipping off to the bathroom. Sunday, September 13, is etched in my grey matter.
Not because the night before it started to hurt when I went to the bathroom, but because Dar Re Mi, a filly Madeleine and I own, was disgracefully disqualified as the winner of the Prix Vermeille in Paris. There was no question that she won the race fair and square, but she was demoted on a ridiculous technicality, allegedly abetted by the stewards, so that the odds-on French favourite Stacelita, owned by a most ungracious man named Martin Schwartz, could win.
There was such a furore in the racing world, not fuelled by me, may I say - OK, well, maybe just a little bit - that the rules of French racing will be changed. Quite rightly. I have never seen the owner of a racehorse booed as the ghastly Schwartz was when he collected the prize after Dar Re Mi was disqualified.
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The next week was a very busy one. I telephoned my GP who now prescribed an antibiotic for a possible infection. Certainly the pain subsided a bit. I thought things were much better. But when I got home, all was not right. I saw my doctor again. He took blood. The test showed everything was within normal limits. Miraculously, even my liver was in good shape, probably thanks to that excellent herbal cleanser milk thistle.
I had read an article in the Daily Mail that described some of the symptoms of prostate cancer. Frequent urination or difficulty in doing so were among them although these symptoms are more often caused by the non-cancerous enlargement of the prostate. It also discussed PSA levels in the blood. PSA stands for Prostate Specific Antigen and the level of these is the benchmark test for prostate cancer diagnosis. My PSA was still in the range permitted for a man of my age, but it was significantly higher than last January. I had my first consultation - i.
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Various other tests were done, albeit less invasive. On October 1 my results were through. I was told again that there seemed to be no sign of any infection, but I probably had prostatitis. This is an inflammation of the prostate gland that is often spread by bacteria from the tubes which surround the prostate.
It is no doddle to cure because antibiotics are not easily assimilated into prostate tissue. But it seemed to explain my problem. My specialist recommended that I went to hospital for a biopsy. I baulked at this. The thought of needles making a kebab of my prostate sounded about as inviting as Alistair Darling's Budget speeches.
But such is my stiff upper whatsit that at 5. I can't tell you much about the day other than that I was left very sore. I remember being told that I had to leave by a side door via a row of huge dustbins due to a gaggle of paparazzi that had assembled outside the hospital's front door.
Naturally Matron and I assumed they were for me. Next morning I awoke to a vast coverage of Amy Winehouse leaving the same establishment having had, allegedly, a boob enhancement. It would be a lie of Blairite proportions to say that the next few days were comfortable. The biopsy had left behind a burning worthy of Joan of Arc.
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Around 10am Professor Kirby rang me to say that the biopsy was cancer positive. Madeleine immediately joined me.
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Professor Kirby explained to us that the cancer appeared to have been caught at an early stage and that therefore one of the options I should consider was a prostatectomy to remove the whole gland. Up to this point I had thought 'Prostatectomy' was a pre-Raphaelite painting.
The Professor said I could wait to have it operated on as the cancer was still contained within the gland and prostate cancers tend to grow slowly. Of course, he said, there were other possible treatments, radiotherapy being one of them. My father-in-law had recently been through exactly that.
But radiotherapy takes a hell of a lot out of you. As I had completed my immediate work on Love Never Dies I had nothing in my remaining diary that was immovable. But was chock-a-block. My Love Never Dies rehearsals start this month. My television series to find Dorothy and Toto for The Wizard Of Oz also starts filming this month and transmitting in the spring. But I decided it was silly to wait. My prostatectomy was fixed for November 3.
Madeleine and I discussed who we should tell. I had been seen going in and out of various clinics.
Sadly in these days of mobile phone cameras it is easy to make a few quid by snapping a vague celeb and putting two and two together to make a story, as happened to me post-op, courtesy of an outfit called Matrix. We decided we must tell the children and a very few close friends. We also told my PR people to prepare a straightforward statement saying, quite simply, that I had prostate cancer. I asked my PA to tactfully rejig my next crammed day as I had to have a scan immediately to assess the degree of the cancer and if it had spread.
I struggled through a meeting with the producer of Shrek The Musical who wants to bring the Broadway version to one of our theatres. I fared better with the hugely talented Australian director Baz Luhrmann who was raving quite rightly about the play War Horse. He wanted to meet Tim Rice, but all I really wanted to do was have a kitchen supper with Madeleine. The first person to call was Sir David Frost. I have known David for years.