Friday morning dawns bright, and the weather remains set fair for Sunday (I’m going to miss this daily ritual when Monday shows it’s weary face).
After a brief flurry of non Pentecost ‘stuff’ its back to the Everyman for a meeting with local actress (and legend) Eithne Browne who will be taking part in the service at the end of the procession. Ever the consummate professional Eithne runs through everything she could have done before leaping onto the Met Steps and delivering the Acts of the Apostles to a few baffled passers by. Bumping into Cannon Anthony O’Brien the two of them plan their respective regalia with care!
Backstage at the Everyman is going to be a host of activity on Sunday. Its here the various pageant performers are going to be dressed and made up before being ‘released’ onto the street. As well as being the base for our Guardian Angels (Big Wow to them) and for the irrepressible YEPers who are very much part of the day.
Then the creative team – Graham, Austin and I – hunker down into Unity Towers for last minute preparation and logistics. Spreadsheets, maps and madness. A huge box of confetti (biodegradable marigold petals) arrives, so does loads of water, two Pentecost banners and I have with me four boxes of doggie poo bags.
Shows how little I know when I realise said bags are black!
Holly from More than Minutes arrives to write up our blackboards whilst story teller Lucy is pounding the streets with our Pageant leaflets. Graham is bent double drawing the final ‘plan’ for the Metropolitan Cathedral steps for our colleagues at STORM – the fab production team working on the project.
As Light Night looms large I find myself having a lengthy conversation about which Cross the Catholic Cathedral should use – now there’s a conversation I never thought I’d have. A little later that night I bump into Ellen Loudon at the Cathedral and realise mid-conversation that – in Cathedral terms – an installation is not necessarily an arts installation! Talking of learning the lingo I cant help but notice the ‘naked microphones’ suspended high above the nave for Sunday morning’s broadcast.
And in the well I catch MDI (the North West’s leading development organisation for contemporary dance) and the beautiful choreography of Akram Khan’s Big Dance* Pledge, which will be repeated in the street as part of the procession on Sunday performed by Professional and Community dancers. Khan has created a new piece around the themes of: Identity, journey and migration – Connection, human ritual and spirituality – Hope, aspiration and achievement.
And then I loose myself in the wonder of Light Night…
*Since 2011, MDI has been the Big Dance Hub for the North West – co-ordinating and producing events in collaboration with local and regional partners as part of the national Big Dance project which aims to encourage people from all walks of life to take part in dance and make it a regular feature in their life.
Dreams Pageants and the Rest – some context
Pentecost Pageant – 4 days to go – blog here
Pentecost Pageant – 5 days to go – blog here
Pentecost Pageant – 6 days to go – blog here