Time is running away. I still haven’t got Toby / Antonio 1 second left hand change satisfactorily solved. That’ll be the weekend. My head is burning with Shakespeare right now. And logistics.

“Is it normal to be so fried?” asks Katherine. I’ve only done one of these tours before so I’m no expert. But yeah. I remember how my brain was hurting at this stage last time. We have been looking at the journey of the stuff, and topping and tailing all the entrances and exits, trying to lose dead time and snip and nip and tuck. We are in on Saturday as well, to bolster the time lost to the bank holiday when we can’t get into the venue. The wash of the show is almost done. We have to start tightening now, really getting to the heart of why scenes exist. Thankfully it’s a lovely bunch and we are all pulling together.

I’m out for the night though. I’m off to see Minnie. I’ll be away until late November so I’m trying to capitalise on my time outside of rehearsals. I don’t see enough of many of my friends anyway, with the obsession I have with this delightful antisocial work. I‘m trying to catch people in the gaps, when I have the energy. Considering I was able to commute to Oxford and do a show after rehearsal for the first few weeks I know that there is fuel in the tank for that sort of thing. Minnie has been so important in my life over the years. I’ll miss her daughter tonight – she’ll already be in bed – but I’m writing this in an expensive Uber to Catford as the sun sets to see her. My very very dear old friend.

I got to hang out with her and it was great. We both needed it. When you’re with with a true and proven friend the weight falls away immediately. We both needed that simplicity for a bit. Just … to communicate with ease, to sit by each other. The solutions are in the silences and the simple understanding, as much as anywhere else. I am exhausted and less than fully secure. Zeph had been kicking off unusually just before I arrived. Min was discombobulated. I have no clue about babies, but I know discombobulation. We had pizza and caught up and now I’m on the bus home feeling so much lighter even though we only managed a few hours together. Again though, if there’s room in your head to do it, it’s worth making space for the people that matter. I have a few people I’ve neglected utterly recently, and it’s unlikely I’ll catch some of them before I leave. I don’t even have parents or grandparents to factor in. I can barely manage seeing any of my deep friends around my job.

I need to see too many people before I sod off to the States until Christmastime. I won’t manage it. But I’m glad I managed one tonight even if it means less time for important costume thinkyness. Belch doesn’t need to be fat. Sure, he was played by the Falstaff actor. But aside from his alcoholism there’s nothing in the text to imply he’s fat. It might be the belly that I ditch in the end. I’m still cooking though.

But this is where my head is at right now. It’s the downside of doing what you love. You can’t park it when the working day is over. It keeps on bubbling…


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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