Seriously people, don’t drink three pints of beer and then a whole bottle of red wine. If you do, for God’s sake don’t chase it with multiple strong gin and tonics. I have it on good authority that someone who did that on a Friday night would likely spend most of Saturday lying in different places making noises like a zombie, and openly wishing he was dead.
Things haven’t quite been working out today in terms of successfully being human. Brian cooked me the frozen pizza that’s been there for months because I just … I just couldn’t. It was rancid. I couldn’t eat it. I fed myself haribo instead because I needed sugar. That was my lunch. Then I put on my three piece. It’s really tight on me suddenly. Too much gin and haribo, not enough yoga. Concrete proof I need to get back to exercise or Christmas Carol is going to kill me. Depressing.
Popping buttons I dragged my vast corpulent frame down the stairs, pausing to wipe the sweat from my brow with a drenched handkerchief, panting like a dog. Vases rattled on the shelves at my footsteps. Gargling frogs I poured myself into my car and piloted the damn thing to Elephant and Castle. No amount of extra weight, no terrible zombie hangover, no lack of desire to do anything whatsoever – nothing was going to stop me meeting Mel, Shama and CJ to discuss what we want to make.
We are applying for a grant to make experimental theatre. It’s a strong group but we are all either busy or hungover or both which makes thinking a little harder. But I think we might have something cooking. I’m not sure what it is yet but it’ll probably involve sex, time, death and technology. There’ll be a story involved somewhere. It’ll be fun and mad.
While I waited for them to arrive, a man walked into the foyer wearing a t-shirt for The Odyssey that we did with The Factory five years ago at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford. Considering we were brainstorming experimental theatre I consider that to be hugely auspicious. It was an experiment in chutzpah. Mostly improvised but with short scenes that could be used as anchors, a physical language of tableaus, beautiful percussive and harmonic songs, simple storytelling complicated by having interference run on it in the form of tasks to make it a joyful nightmare to perform. Some moments of unrepeatable beauty and convergence. Some moments of jazzing a wrong note into a right note. Some flat out horrorshow moments. It’ll always be significant in my memory as the show that put all other pre-show nerve states into perspective. The utter unpredictability was terrifying but also like adrenaline-crack.
“Did you see it?” I asked him, thrilled. “Hell yeah, I fucking loved it. It’s why I bought the shirt. Did you?” “I was in it mate.” A moment. We take it where we can get it. I got his photo.
I didn’t get his permission. I probably should have. Hopefully he’ll be okay. Notice the obligatory hatstand. We were in Southwark Playhouse. Hatstands congregate in theatres.
If we can get this rushed first round application filled in and sent off by Monday I reckon the four of us between us have so much experience of joyful random nonsense over the years that – who knows, maybe in 5 years there’ll be another guy in another t-shirt from whatever show we end up making…
Meanwhile I have to sleep. Oh my head. God bless us, every one.