The First Performance

It is close to showtime cast and crew are scattered around the Y. The design team, dressed all in black like set building ninjas congregate backstage. The band and tech team are in place. The actors either wait backstage or upstairs in the Y’s glorious balcony.

Amongst them you can feel the energy. They sit in their groups. Many are running lines. Making last minute checks all is well. Some sit alone. Eyes closed like meditating monks. Their lips mouthing silent words.

The house lights plummet and we are off.

Blogging means I am an audience member. I’m not emotionally invested in a particular script. I can sit back and watch the plays.

It is a wonderful night of theatre. Even though the design team said they had a “lot of offices” the plays are diverse. As they race through actors disappear and reappear in the balcony. Silent high fives and thumbs up are given.

There are also some dipped heads and humourless and painful smiles. Mistakes have been made. Some actors have fluffed lines.

The important thing is, as an audience member, I didn’t know.

It shows the commitment of these performers. 24 hours previously these plays did not exist. The scripts only reached their hands 11 hours ago. Even so, they want it to be perfect and now they sit there beating themselves up. The point has to be made again… As an audience member, I didn’t know mistakes had happened. And if anything, you’d expect mistakes. This is a monumental task to take on for all concerned. Mistakes will happen because we’re human and not robots. It was a great show which everyone produced in less than 24 hours. Let’s say this… Well done. Seriously… Well done. Fucking well done. You deserve each and every bit of praise coming to you. All of you.

A theme is drawn for the following night. The theme is, “In the mood”. The writers disappear while cast and crew prepare for another performance.

Seeing the difference between the 8pm and 10.30pm performance proves you should come to both. The performers are more relaxed. The comedy ramps up a level and new lines are thrown in. They get hugh laughs and you also see the performers struggling to hold it together. It’s like challenges have been set to make people corpse.

And emotion cranks up a level as well. No, it’s alright. I’ve just got something in my eye.

Then it is half past midnight and the show is over. Everyone is low on sleep but high on adrenalin.

We have to do it all again tomorrow.

I can’t wait.

Dave Pitt
​6th May 2017. 07:54
@davethepitt

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