Sheffield on a Saturday night is a sight to be seen. I thought we’d have a lovely contained night in our little parlour. But i hadn’t considered the nature of the Sheffield audience. There is a huge amount of party in this town. We closed our space at a modest 11pm, but we immediately got swept up in madness. Now we are in Kelham Island. Audience members from Sheffield have decided to show us their Saturday night. It’s a good Saturday night, guys. Sheffield rocks.

Right now I’m custodian of a pile of coats while everyone else goes to smoke something that probably isn’t tobacco. That’s fine. I can’t process that stuff so I’ve barely touched it for decades. It’s a good opportunity to get this written down. Even if it’s probably coming across as deeply antisocial. But that’s just a nothing. It was a glorious show tonight so Jack and I are local celebrities in our bubble. But Sheffield is a little less used to alternative people than London…

I’m wearing an audience member’s sequin top as I write this though. She is brilliant fun, and instigated the idea of swapping with me somewhat forcefully. Scrooge had expressed a desire to wear it during the show. He got his wish with a different head on. I walked into a late night Sheffield bar in a remarkable sequin top and was immediately asked by the bar staff to parade down the bar as if it were a catwalk. I did so with gusto and ended up unexpectedly getting a couple of free drinks. Being alternative is still interesting in Sheffield it seems. It’s easier to be so here. In London, “alternative” comprises a grey suit and hatred. It’s worth bearing that in mind as i frolic with my sequins in old steel central. Before Tata.

Boy did I frolic tonight. The “dissipated artist” lobby get their money’s worth, the poor loves. We had a lovely night. I feel fully welcomed into Sheffield now. We went out in Kelham Island, and found all sorts of brilliant places to go. We were taken there by three audience members who were very taken with the idea of showing us a good night. They had been joyfully trying to make Scrooge uncomfortable in the show. One bloke in the audience referred to them afterwards, saying “The people to my right – they clearly never go to the theatre. But they understood it completely.” That bloke was an amdrammer. He had an idea about how audiences should behave. Bless. He had a good night despite that ancient expectation of obedience. And so did the “naughty” people like me.

Thanks to 8 years with so many different possible audiences, Tom Bellerby has got the balance right it seems, and employed the right team to make this show glorious and unbreakable. Thank God. He has made a frame for us to have a proper Christmas show. This is half a decade of joy for me now. What a fine bit of life. This show has brought about my friendship with Brian – (in a time where I said to my my best friend I needed more male friends.). It’s deepened my partnership with Jack so much. And it has glorious effects in the real world. I could never have imagined I’d be in a spangly top surrounded by glorious blurry humans…


But yes. A fab night with the blurs…

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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