Day 16 in the Big Harrogate Theatre

By Tim Stedman

Today we moved into the black box; the house; the theatre.  Suddenly we’re into Tech Week – with the stage, lights, sound, make-up, costumes, scenery, props… the list goes on.  All is alien and nothing feels how you expected.  So with a step up in production levels comes a disproportionate fall in performance.

My hat won’t stay on, the prop isn’t large enough and my trainers don’t fit too well.  And so the diva emerges.  Everyone assumes you’re busy but you stand waiting to say your line amidst organised chaos.  If it’s not your scene you’re maybe sat in the dressing room, auditorium or just continue to practise.  People rush about with hammers and headphones stitching and sewing, moving lanterns on ladders, simply to help tell this story.

I invariably get bored having run the lines a couple of times.  I’m ready to “do.”  Why isn’t everybody else?  Let’s do this, that, the other and make it better, funnier and bigger.  But we “turns” get 3 weeks rehearsing; stage management, lights, sound, wardrobe and crew et al get 3 days to work it out and one days practice.

So before I’m smacked, stabbed and lamped with that hammer, needle and lamp: Stedman, shut it!

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