Here I am in my bugs bunny onesie, surrounded by artists. Two show day today, and the director is up to watch it. He’s not been on hand so much this year so it’s golden when we get him. He will be sleeping on our bare Ikea sofa tonight. Brian did it the other night, but Brian will sleep in a hole full of dogshit and tell you he slept beautifully. Tom will probably end up in bed alongside either me or Jack. I’m angling for Jack by playing the “man most likely to snore loudly” card. I won’t remind him that I’ve been in albergues for the last few weeks. I’ll play the “forever single” card. And cry while I’m doing it.
It’s so lovely to be up north with this show. We had one guy who is sending his dad tomorrow. He has worked out when I will go running outside and he intends to be there in the car park to be a little orphan boy. He even persuaded me to put his dad in Scrooge’s debt board. I love that board.
It represents five years of me collecting silly Dickensian names and turning them into narrative. It has become a huge silent partner. There are audience members that disproportionately adore it. It’s a delight, that the contents of my head give so much pleasure, augmented by five years worth of my #SillyDickensianNames hashtag on Twitter. Like all theatre it’s a group effort and there are some wordgeeks who I’ve never met who have added layers to this show. Names like “Horrible Grunting,” “Lady Chlamydia Vicegrip,” “Volumnia Soake,” “Absorbent Biscuits”… It’s always better with multiple imaginations.
I’m so happy up here tonight. Jack and I are in our ridiculously new apartment. Tom is sitting to my left. He’s made this show every year for 8 years now. Now he’s in London validated big style by our industry. He’s the running assistant director at The Donmar Warehouse, which is a tiny theatre but positioned in the industry in such a way as to get high faluting celebrity attention and guaranteed full houses pretty much no matter what. Rebecca is sitting opposite me. She wants a tarot reading, so I’ll do that when I’m done writing to you lot. But I’m home. Working as an actor. Surrounded by friends. Happy and looked after. And I’m going to take a free pass on my 500 word minimum. Because I want to enjoy being with the people I’m with…