How delightful, to be home and in bed when I’d normally still be talking to strangers and burning things. I’m having a ball at Vault Festival, but I’m also glad to have a night off and an early bed.

You’ve heard me talking about this Vault Festival, oh constant reader. But you might not know the extent of how great it is. Yes, we have to accept that they take a minimum percentage of our box office, and yes that means that possibly we would end up paying them to make the show, but it’s a very reasonable deal comparatively. Considering we are in London, they are not taking the mickey. Edinburgh Festival has long ago lost the ground on which you can experiment with things and not end up in debt. Mel and I brought a scratch performance to the Vault, and so long as we have a reasonable turnover next week it will work out loosely cost neutral. They are hosting our show on their site and pushing it out there. Their volunteers and producers have been exceptional in helping us find the right audience members. We’ve never had an empty night. We can use what we’ve learnt and what’s been written about us to confidently expand the show and pitch it to festivals in the summer, knowing we have a good group of people who can make it happen even if Mel and myself are both indisposed. I have a friend covering for me on Thursday. She’s totally different from me and will bring her own particular energy to proceedings. I could cover for Mel as could anybody that understands Tarot and doesn’t frame it as magic hoojamaflip, like some actors I’ve spoken to who clearly grew up influenced too much by a certain James Bond film.

My days are now sunk into West Side Story again. We are doing it as part of a gala night. “Immersive West Side Story”. You can’t rehearse talking to pretend audience members with any degree of truth, but we have been trying our best to prepare people for various eventualities. Here is a selfie taken by my pretend audience member “Nigel”.


Tomorrow will be another full day of rehearsal with these lovely fools, with no evening show for me at Vault. Then on Wednesday I’ll have to rush from rehearsal to show. Thursday is still baffling me. I can’t get to Vault, so how does the van get on site. Mel can drive, but she’s only ever driven automatic and it’s much easier for her to offer a problem than a solution. She told me not to take the show off sale when I knew I’d be unavailable, but she’s not helping solve it – almost like it’s my fault for having something else to do. I’ve paid a friend to cover me but she can’t drive. Mel doesn’t want to move the van in my stead despite her driving licence. She calls it “stick shift”. She learnt to drive in America where every car is a go-kart. And thinking of my mum behind the wheel of a geared car, she could fuck the engine…

I’ll have to find a way to be in two places at once I think. I’ll have to rush from the venue to the van and back again. Unless there’s someone who can take the van from Leake Street car park on a private road to the entrance of Vault at around 6 on Thursday (5 minutes work), and then reverse it back at around half eleven (ten minutes).

Nobody in the arts can drive big vans with confidence. Anybody?


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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