One performance down, nine of the company on the train to Bath, the other three en route via a van with the tables and all the kit..but more of that later.
So we successfully opened last night at Chelsea Theatre to a small (ish) but responsive crowd. The show went without a hitch and seemed to be warmly received. Memories veers – alarmingly at time – from intense intimacy to ironic humour. Its confusing, challenging, entertaining – but above all reiveting. Your eye doesn’t know where to look and your brain (or at least mine) struggles to keepup.
But the successful performance ‘hid’ a somewhat stress full and difficult day. It didn’t start well when the people carrier promised us by hertz wasn’t forthcoming (I later found out they had still charged me for it!), plan B was invoked. Plan B involved a courier taking the tables from IKEA to the venue so we had a solution for London – but the problem with Plan B no means of transporting them from London to the other venues. A car was secured – but by the time I got to Ikea I quickly realised that no car was going to accommodate the table tops. Still at least we have a show in London.
Back at base (an hour late and a change of courier later) we switch the car for a van, but we cant pick it up until tomorrow. That in itself quickly becomes a problem as the venue can’t open on Sunday so where do we leave the tables? and the first solution involves leaving them locked outside – fine if it wasn’t pouring it down with rain. But then another panic phone call!
We have a performer stuck at Heathrow. Not just any old performer but a key member of the BADco crowd who has had to arrive late after premiering his own new show the previous night. As I quickly learn he’s not the happiest of travellers – and as the problem develops I hear more and more amusing / horrific tales of his travel exploits. Frantic phone calls are made to S who is picking him up.. but there is no answer, and no answer again, again and again. Finally I cave in – get him in a cab! Moments later my phone goes again – its S from a pay phone. She’s been at Heathrow all the time but they’ve managed to miss each other and in the rush to leave S has left her mobile at home.
Cheese on toast – courtesy of Francis Alexander,AD at Chelsea, in the near by Café Roma has never –ever – tasted so good. Its been my first food since a snatched piece of toast at breakfast and I wont eat again until a sandwhich at 1am. Not that I’m hungry.
Still – we have a theatre, all of a company, an audience, the right equipment and the show does go on. And suddenly it all seems worthwhile – and you remember why you are doing this. I even start to enjoy it.
And then – at the stroke of midnight – the Chelsea Theatre team manage to open an external cupboard. We have somewhere to store the trestles which is dry. All venues should have one of these! I collapse into bed at 1am – knowing it’s a seven am start. We’re off and running!