Building into the fantabulous Pantechnicon!

Up to Harrow in the morning to unload the van. Then straight back into town and to Gatsby in order to start building the van show. Empty at last.

If I park outside Gatsby I can run a cable into the van and get some light to work by. That’s not possible at home where I live on the top floor. And the daylight goes so early. But it’s £11.50 daily for congestion charge.

This work reminds me of the Christmas Carol get in, but with fewer tools. Today I’ve been attaching fabric to the wooden frame in the van. That’s the prime advantage of borrowing a van that’s already been used for a show. There’s a wooden frame. Golfo made it. It’s a Godsend. We can tack material to the van interior and we can change the atmosphere. We’re hoping that we can get some reasonable lighting in there too but I’m no expert on that. I’m either going to have to wing it or get some help. And help might be wise because I’d forgotten some important potential concerns.

I just looked over last year’s blog, to discover that I was building into the same festival last year as well. Admittedly it was a much bigger space and for a much bigger audience. Nevertheless I’m remembering what an absolute donut all the health and safety was for the get-in. There’s a guy whose job it is to be as obstructive as he can be. “You can’t close the willow tunnel at the top, it’ll make people claustrophobic.” “You have to drill into the floor to support this supported banister more in case seven people simultaneously fall onto it.” I have no doubt he’ll be all over everything in our van. I’d forgotten about him until just now. Biscuit! Still, we’ll do what we can. We’ll probably end up having to ditch the van and do the show on a picnic blanket that’s been drilled two miles into the ground for stability and is weighted down as a further precaution, is hypo-allergenic with an expensive certificate to prove it, and is sprayed every five minutes with flameproofing by a qualified fireman who has slept more than 7 hours the night before.

In a break today I fell into a conversation with an old friend who runs a theatre space. “We’ve had to spend all our spare time filling in pointless forms and signing on the dotted line. The one thing we haven’t had time to do is work on the show. It’s more important to work out how likely it is for someone to bang their head on a scale of one to ten and write it down. It’s crazy.” “Yeah. Why can’t we just make theatre. Until somebody dies…”

But It means that the admin brains are the ones getting most of the work finished, especially as they are likely to be able to successfully comprehend grant applications, which form another arcane and terrible language understood by few, mastered by fewer. I’m curious to learn. Mel, my creative partner, has done the bulk of the work after I keep looking at the first question on some of these egregious forms and just hearing white noise. But this is at least a start for me. Maybe in a year I’ll think them less egregious. Maybe in two years I’ll do them without thought.

It’ll be worth it when it’s made. Joy will abound. Fun for all! I’m looking forward to getting stuck in now… Tickets might go on sale tomorrow. Imagine! A whole week before we open! Aaargh. Biscuit.

custard_cream_biscuit

 

LAST TWO YEARS

January 2017 – Arriving in Venice LA, still wondering how I got there.

January 2018 – Where I was building in a show for the Vaults Festival!

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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