It has taken until now to write a piece on the late great Victoria Wood. This is primarily due to the fact I had no idea how to go about it, but it is also due to the pangs of sadness that hit when thinking about the loss of a truly amazing person. It is slightly odd that I have felt the loss of Victoria as strongly, as I have never had much in the way of emotions in relation to deaths and have even been slightly annoyed at peoples outpouring of grief after the death of one of their favourite celebrities. I suppose that hits the nail on the head though. Victoria was more than just another celebrity; she represented to me how someone should really live their life. No one can say that Victoria did not live her life to the full. Most people who will live to 100 could only dream of achieving what Victoria did in her 62 years.
I have always been focussed upon making the most of life, and not regretting not doing something; hence the Ghandi quote on my homepage. Victoria to me represented the reality of applying that way of thinking. People refer to her as a true comedic icon, which is true, but she was also a singer, songwriter, musical writer and director, sketch show writer, actress, charity worker, baker, mother and so much more. In every area she excelled herself inspiring those who watched her.
I have often thought to myself that there is not enough time in a life to try everything, and Victoria clearly agreed with one of her brilliant songs “reincarnation”, but boy did she give it her best shot. If I achieve even a fraction of what she has in her life I will have lived a very good life indeed.
I, like everyone with a sense of humour, loved Victoria’s comedy. She had a way of creating stories that could make you somewhat sad one moment and then laughing in hysterics the next. It is a testimony to her wit, and perfectionism. I love comedy in general, but rarely could something make me burst out laughing in a room from just reading a line; that was a skill Victoria had. Her families twitter post after her death containing one of her brilliant lines, to me represented Victoria’s effect on me perfectly; it presented tear jerking sadness while at the same time leaving you laughing at the end.
“life’s not fair, is it? Some of us drink champagne in the fast lane, and some of us eat our sandwiches by the loose chippings on the A597”
I vastly appreciated Victoria’s musical genius as well, not just in her classic “Ballad of Freda and Barry”, but in her brilliant, and somewhat under appreciated I feel, musical “That day we sang”. I watched it about 3 times in a row when it was on BBC 2 and had the soundtrack on a loop far a month or so afterwards. The mad, eccentric but beautiful and touching way it was written and staged could only be by one great mind.
Now just to mention a few other noteworthy things. Victoria received 5 BAFTA’s in her life as well as being awarded an OBE and then a CBE. She starred successfully as a serious lead role actress in “Housewife, 49”, something few people would have envisioned her as. I was also inspired by the fact she largely taught herself to play piano, and the quality of her playing is astounding. She paved the way for all the great female comics and actually for the future of comedy in general. By all accounts Victoria was a perfect contradiction between bold and refrained. She was passionate about what she believed in but at the same time she didn’t really seem to see herself as the big star she was. What I do know for certain is that she was an inspiring, talented, and genuine person who will be sorely missed.
I would say goodbye Victoria and thank you for all you’ve given us, but when someone makes the kind of impact she has they will never really be gone and there will always be a new generation to laugh and cry at her work. On that note I feel in need of a tune by the late genius herself and then bed.