It’s not far now from the end of our run in Sheffield. We no longer have a charity bucket for donations at the end of the show, because the one we were using belongs to the venue. Last night we used a pint mug because it vanished. Tonight, I think, nothing – which I didn’t realise until too late. Every night after the show I tell people about this year’s charity, and I ask them to donate. Every night we get lots of donations (apart from tonight.) We can’t use a venue bucket, you see, because what if people actually intend their donation for them? That’s the issue, I’m told. “What if we tape over everything that relates that bucket to them?”, I ask. “No”. We can’t use it because it’s theirs. That’s what it comes down to. Knowing this now, we will just use one of our hats going forward. I’d like to have known that properly before the bucket was taken. It was just … taken, no solution offered. “Ours”. We lost the donations of a lovely audience because I couldn’t get my head around “better no bucket than the wrong bucket”.

I try to ignore how bureacracy can become more important than people. It’s societal, constant, universal and completely at odds with the message of this show. I’m sure in this case it’s just a miscommunication. Our hosts are brilliant hosts and we have been really happy here. But it reminds me how we all isolate ourselves into little sad Islands.

Jack and I had a ball this evening. The audiences are lovely generally, and this evening we had the amazing drunken R, front and centre, unbelievably hammered with atrocious hiccups in all the quiet bits. For a Wednesday audience it felt like a weekend. I suspect everyone is winding out of work now, and shifting into the Christmas season. It’s becoming socially acceptable to go crazy midweek. We can build around most disruptions, and her hiccups became part of the show. It’s always better to get something than nothing. There were some moments where we had to work very hard to win it back, but mostly I was glad of hiccuping R.

Now we are relaxing at home, winding in to an early bed. Jack and I had a little squabble tonight, but it’s solved. I’m a sensitive soul. It only takes the tiniest bit of division and weirdness to influence my mood. If people start vanishing down shouldholes, or setting themselves up as better than their equals, or making a fuss for the hell of it, or throwing weightless weight around, my hackles go up. There is no negativity whatsoever in our little team though thank God. And nothing is coming to me from the venue either. Front of House has been constantly very helpful to us. I’m not sure why I’m sniffing bad air. I suspect it was just a brain fart. As I say, I’m extremely sensitive.

I’m going to miss this space. Theatre Deli Sheffield is an awesome building with huge potential run by a very old friend of mine – it’s great for us to build their audience, and push people to their bar to make a bit of basic profit for them as they facilitate us as makers, and put on a big Christmas party.

We’ve built a glorious playing space for this show and we’ve used lots of their stuff. We’re using their steeldeck to provide better sightlines than we are used to having so people can really get the message. It’s their flats providing the backdrop. We are using  their furniture to raise Scrooge, to tease out moments and generally to dress the set. They’ve been ace and have helped us build the best set yet. If it’s a bucket that’s the sticking point then we can use a hat.

Sam, Jack and I are making a beautiful show here out of energy, time and positivity. I’m proud of what we’ve done and looking forward to the coming week. Here’s a mid clear up shot – the only photo I took today.



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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