America Day 55 – Watching people work

It’s a Saturday and the rain is pouring down. The last thing we want to do is run a Shakespeare workshop for a mixed age group of kids. But here they all are. These enthusiastic young people. Running through the rain to get to a room that will be run by the two of us. Oh God.

Claire and I sit in the car watching them arrive through the rain, these happy people with their colorful shoes. Neither of us are feeling ready but we are about to go and be fun with them.

The good thing is that we’ve got each other. With the two of us there’s no possibility of a humongous brain freeze, as happened to me in one class in Annapolis.

The rain is a solid wave. We extract ourselves from our seats and challenge the elements for the tiny ten feet or so we have to travel to get to the door. We start tired.

Fifteen minutes later, we are both wide awake and enjoying ourselves hugely and exploding energy from all orifices. The two of us have a shared moment of connection and we both notice the distance between where we were just before the workshop and where we are now. Dr Theatre works for workshops as well as theatre it seems.

This evening we have the chance to watch somebody else work. Post Modern Jukebox happens to be passing through Greencastle and we have free tickets. We are towards the back but the theatre is packed. I’m writing as the MC works the crowd and incorporates his glass of bourbon in his banter. This is a man that knows how to sustain himself on a tour of the provinces.

It’s a strange auditorium and a familiar kind to me now. Organs, weird curtains and no real way of making sure anybody can actually be seen in any of the lighting states.

Somebody in sequins in singing a 1920’s loungeroom remix of Britney Spear’s Toxic.

As we are, these artists are doing their thing all over the place. As we are, they seem to be enjoying themselves in the process. I’m going to sit back and enjoy them working for a bit.


This is incredibly chilled and I’m exhausted. I’ve got back on this blog as we are in the back row so it’s not going to be noticed on stage. These wonderful people are singing for us all, and it’s making me feel cosy, warm and sleepy. Rather than letting my head fall back into a snore I’m letting it fall forward into a screen. “Ladies and gentlemen, I hope you’re having a good time,” says the MC, and I am but I think my habit of putting piano music on when I’m winding down towards sleep, combined with the fact that it’s the end of another very full week is making me less than the ideal audience member.

“Welcome to the new wave,” sings the MC and we all obediently chorus “radioactive” and somewhere within this perhaps it’s ok to have a little snooze…

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And then there was a total power outage to the area. You couldn’t make it up. Heavy winds have brought down a cable somewhere. “Now we’ll see what they’re made of,” I remark to Jono. “They’ll either pull the second half or if they’re artists they’ll hack together an unplugged set.”

They came together, stood with each other, held tight in their little community, said “the show must go on,” and let us hear them without the tricks. Until the health and safety crew shut them down in case someone tripped and hurt their ankywankle. Wonderful work.

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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