I just won a week. A whole extra week. I didn’t do anything to deserve it either. I just got it as a reward for being an idiot.
Here I am opening a show the day after tomorrow. Today I found a bit of text from the original Shakespeare play that obviously says my inner life better than my own words, so I learnt it and added it to my mix. I’m on my own with whoever comes to my bit mostly, so as long as it’s clear I know what I’m doing I can actively play with the humans that gather. Everybody plays differently. I want to try to get them to connect, listen, play a bit and then move on. I’ll be dealing with ten groups a night over about 80 minutes, with group scenes before and after. It’s a logistical nightmare that people better then me can sort. It’s selling out hard to local people who already know it’ll be big fat craic. It’s hard to get tickets for my friends already. I think I can say that this will be the funnest Shakespeare I’ve ever been involved in, and it’ll be sold out. It’s gonna be supermaximum craic. But … hang on, you’re wondering about the week I won. I forgot. It’s easy to get swept up.
Fool that I am I had it in my head I’d start rehearsing for Twelfth Night on Monday. I have been worried for days that I wouldn’t have the headspace around opening this show. I was galvanising myself for the overlap… Turns out there’s an extra week of existence which I hadn’t accounted for. I don’t start rehearsal for a week longer. Hell yes! More time for fun in Oxford and maybe I can get on the bike?!
I’m having a ball right now. This is precisely what I signed up for, and it’s why I do all the random dayjobs. A group of unusual emotionally connected humans telling a story together. Being part of something that might make less emotionally connected humans feel something. I’m loving this. I’m really happy right now guys.
Creation Theatre have existed for years in Oxford, with no specific venue, telling stories in unusual places. They make theatre that responds to whichever place they’ve got. They are brilliant enough and established enough in the community now that they can access really interesting places and also, crucially, find an audience. They don’t shy away from unusual things. They’re good at being unusual. It’s why we align so well. I’ve been trying to get back to Oxford to work with them for years, and they’ve been trying to get me too. It has finally worked out. Thank God . This is gonna be epic.
Their work fills that crying gap for a summer Shakespeare left by Sprite Productions ending. Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone? I miss Sprite. It really isn’t a summer for me without being swept up in some sort of joyful Shakespearean carnage that’s rightheadedly executed by humans who actually know what they’re doing. But this is the first company that’s felt like a Sprite company since those heady days in Yorkshire. There’s nowt like a rightheaded summer Shakespeare. Here some of us are. Hanging out photogenically by a pylon. Bring on this show.. Bring it. It’s gonna be amazing. Book now or they’re all gone.