Opened the Dream at Riverside yesterday. A very hectic day and a slightly hectic show – it was all a little fast and furious, like the early derbyshire performances. But audience response was still very positive.
Then today I’ve been in Cardiff meeting what felt like the entire staff of Royal Welsh College. I remember some names and some faces… possibly not in the right order. Still, everyone seems really friendly so I think I’m going to have a lovely time there. Though it’s going to be a pretty massive show – cast of nine or possibly twelve plus an onstage band of at least six and a big stage management team as well.
And tomorrow we’re off to Dublin at the crack of dawn. It’s been quite a tiring week.
Met with a lovely young Australian playwright yesterday called Melissa Bubnic and today am off for a site-visit to the Old Vic tunnels where we might be doing a double bill of two new plays next year. Also have to get on with my own new play – but after the Dream transfer Will and I fly to Dublin for a week and a half so I think I’ll make it a writing holiday. He’s doing the video for a show in the Festival called Testament so I expect I’ll have a lot of free time while he’s in tech. First draft here I come…
A busy weekend. On Saturday – lunch with Kate Lane – our STC costume designer, and an another director friend, then Belle’s Stratagem at Southwark Playhouse. Then yesterday we had a board meeting and appointed two new board members – the wonderful and lovely Chris Grady from Theatre Royal Bury, and Deborah Paige who used to run Sheffield Theatres and Salisbury Playhouse. It was also Will’s birthday yesterday so we spent the rest of the day…sat in front of computers writing ‘value documents’ and booking an international tour for The Man With the Flower in His Mouth. Festive.
Back in London, briefly briefly (rest of the run was a delight and packed) now off to Bury for some meetings about STC and watching Loren in Dick Turpin’s last ride. Via hammersmith for a quick tech meeting in advance of Dreaming there next weds.
So we opened on Friday – the rain was pouring down until 5 minutes before at which point it stopped and didn’t rain again til the show had finished! Then over the weekend the same thing happened so every performance has, so far, been dry. Amazing! What’s more every performance has been packed! To the extent that we had to put out loads of extra seats – Hooray! And the audience response has been phenomenal. Definitely going to come back again next year. Hopefully it will become a regular thing…
So now we’re up in derbyshire. I would say sunny derbyshire but that alas would be an outright lie. Yesterday’s rehearsal took place in anoraks and umbrellas. But I’m still optimistic for the performances. Perhaps naively…
Still the house and garden are beautiful and it’s lovely living and eating all together. Gives me lots of inspiration for the Metta Theatre commune idea that I’ve been stewing over for years. Just got to get Will on side…oh and buy a massive house and garden, of course.
We staggered in a stop and starting way
Through the entirety of Shakespeare’s play.
Or my adaptation of it, should I say.
It went quite well, I think, I hope, I pray.
Today was slightly harder than the rest,
But already we’ve staged the entire play.
So now we have the time to make it best,
Or better, hopefully, in many ways.
I can’t stop thinking in iambic lines,
But there are worse ailments in rehearsals.
Come op’ning night I’m sure I shall be fine,
By closing night I’m going to have a ball.