Beware of the leopard

Morning found me stumbling with my rucksack from our Airbnb. Another dry night and I was coughing, clearing my throat, testing my range. *cough* *hack* *mumble* *sing* In one hand I had loads of plastic bags. One with my laptop. One with my costume. One with random bits. In the other hand was an open bottle of red wine. We had lost the cork. I was taking it to Deli to cork it there. Waste not want not. I was wearing my heavy clothes. Horrible old ski jacket covered in paint. Hoodie. Walking trousers. Walking boots. Pre-coffee, jolting through the morning, occasionally loudly saying random words. I couldn’t work out why Jack was so far behind me until a bunch of lads going to work on the building site turned round after one of my loud ejaculations and looked at me for a bit longer than is polite. This shambling grumbling hulking bearded bagman with his open red wine first thing in the morning…

We were going in to tear down the rest of the set. Flats down and carry the buggers back upstairs. Rostra back where we found it. Everything into boxes, in some loose order. Rebuild wardrobe. Take down the fireplace and the mirror. Tear off all remaining dressing. Wait for the van. They’re half an hour late.

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Eventully we all load the van, then we all drive to York. Our individual cars can’t stay in Sheffield.  After a morning breaking things up and resetting for Deli, we all just drive. Then we meet the van and unload it into Mansion House. All the muscle for the unload? – it suddenly needs to be somewhere else. So it’s Jack and I again, on our day off, hoiking really unwieldy tables upstairs while Mark helplessly watches us to make sure we don’t hit the expensive walls. He occasionally lifts a finger. Mostly he worries. Jack and I get to work. We shift it all into the room where the show will take place. Usually it’s open to the public but not tomorrow. We build what we can but we are running on empty now.

“It’ll give us ownership,” I say to Jack. And that’s very true. We are already running the possibilities of the space. We’ve learnt the light switches. When you double as actor and tech you have a much deeper understanding of what is actually possible in the space, and why. We are thinking about what to add, what to change, what we can solve, how we can respond to where we are. But right now we are back at home and it’s just approaching 1am. We both adore this job but it’s all encompassing. I just had the best bath I’ve had for ages, and now I’m going to read for half an hour and turn in. Tomorrow we work 10-6 on build and then 7.30 to late on show. This unit of three massive geeks. We are going to make something seriously glorious in York. And everyone in your address book should come and see it. SELL SELL SELL. But yeah, frankly, it’s glorious. It’s the ultimate Christmas show. You get a good meal and you get two very different very dynamic actors literally working to the very edges of their energy. It’s a steal. But the tickets are impossible to find online. Literally impossible.

Check out this teaser for Arts York. It has an interview of sorts with me. Marketing has been brilliant.  But imagine you were impulse buying. Follow the links on the site provided. You won’t find us.

If any of you can find our show (not the one man Christmas Carol in the de Grey rooms) I’ll give you a bun. I had a good old dig and found nothing but that one man show, after diligently following the York link in that article. It’s all very well for York Theatre Royal to host our ticketing but not if they bury it completely. No wonder we haven’t grown our houses for a fortnight.

Here’s a ticket link that should actually work.

The timeless Douglas Adams springs to mind:

“But the plans were on display!”

On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”

“That’s the display department.”

“With a flashlight.”

“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”

“So had the stairs.”

“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”

“Yes …yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”


Come see Christmas Carol. Beware of the leopard.

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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