Sheffield. Jack Whitam. Christmas Carol.

Weeks ago, as I was wandering through Villavante, I spoke to Jack about actor’s digs in Sheffield. “I can’t sort accommodation for Christmas Carol mate. I’m walking. Can I leave it in your hands?”

Theatre Deli had given us a budget. We’ve both had so long living in other people’s houses where you can use the kitchen but actually you can’t really because X and Y and Z. Where you can get home to chill, and someone who owns the space immediately wants to know “what have you done on telly” at you, or “how was the celebrity in your cast this evening?” These people can be wonderful, but in a show like Carol – which is about connectivity – I have to recharge by shutting the door.

Jack got on Airbnb and found a place where we can both recharge. I should always let Jack find actor’s digs! It’s a new build, listed on Airbnb cheaply to get good reviews. There was still a price tag attached to the sofa. There are missing basics, like chopping boards, but nobody has ever lived here before. We are the first people to ever use the loo, use the bath, use the beds, use the fridge.

“It’s actually a lovely little space isn’t it. You’d have that wall painted, loads of paintings, you’d change the colour over there, you’d get this that and the other uplit.” Jack is already imagining that the space is his to do with as he pleases.

It’s bare. It’s very bare. It’s IKEA. But we can fill it with incense and guitar music. Jack is guitar noodling away as I write. My accordion is currently located in Theatre Deli, the venue. I think I might get it tomorrow so I can practice with him in the evening.

I’m looking forward to having a new centre for a few weeks. Let me know if you’re around because it’s mostly Jack and I here in the sexy digs. We can easily accommodate friends on the sofa. Right now it reminds me of the years at Sprite that made the two of us friends. He’s playing guitar and we are singing as I’m hacking out my blog.

We are also talking, in the gaps, about what we want to make here. We have to call the shots over the next few days, so while we’re building things we have to call what will work.

Jack and I have done so much over the years now. Almost a decade in Ripley. We lived in a semi abandoned farmhouse with a working Aga and a swimming pool full of frogs, we lived in a huge sprawling party house, we lived in the perfectly appointed home of the dot-com millionaire who was thinking about going rogue with a shotgun. Jack made an award winning internet comedy series and roped me in. We toured America. We are planning an Outer Hebrides Tour if it all goes wrong. We really really know how to play together, and most of it is coincidence. Now we get to live in this IKEA house as we make a Christmas show together for the fourth time running. This should be a glorious glorious season. Humbug.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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