Press night

This evening, we had journalists. They came to our show. It was a night named after them. Press night.

I don’t know how I feel about such events. I don’t like having my work crystallised through the minds of people who perhaps don’t have any handle on the art. I’d be surprised if anyone was capable of writing something unpleasant about what is one of the most bonkers fun and christmassy things I’ve ever been involved in. The chances are people will be positive. But that doesn’t stop all of my tiny anxieties from magnifying. It doesn’t stop me using all my creativity to establish reasons why THIS EVENING the writer human might find means to denigrate my work, or the piece in general. It’s always up for grabs. This is a marvelous show. Nobody is going to be mean about it. It’s just that if someone writes shit about you it can follow you for years. Based on post show feedback we’ll all have good write-ups. I’m good at my job. Impostor syndrome is just part of the furniture. How is it that I am paid to do what I love?

We had Lyn in – the adored grand damme of theatre reviewing. God knows what she’ll make of it. She cracked a smile. She might not even review it now she’s not full time. But she seemed to enjoy it, and she was surrounded by her industry. We presided over an early Christmas party for the theatre reviewing industry.

It’s weird thinking about Lyn. I mostly don’t know the name of theatre critics. I know hers, because she’s been an exponent of the kind of work I love for years now. She’s become the only theatre reviewer whose opinion I value. I’d be devastated if she hated it. She didn’t, of course. But insecurity springs eternal.

Now I’m home. I’m spread out. I’m happy and warm. I think back to two years ago when the boiler was fucked and I was freezing and sick. I miss Pickle. I still think there’s a share that can be negotiated. Meantime I’ll go to sleep to an empty space. But I’ll sleep well, knowing we did a good job of it. We had a fair few catastrophes tonight with tech – stuff that’s never happened before. Someone stole Jack’s lighter so Fan being a candle became Jack whispering. I honestly think it worked anyway. Maybe there was a spot of lost magic. But we have learnt how to make things fly now. It was a moment of complicity between us, seeing him come on with no fire. We made it work.

I blew out my only candle while acting. The logic of the candle is fucked as I’m lit by birdies. Health and safety has made it impossible for us to properly use candlelight, despite the tremendous loss in atmosphere. Once again I praise every single human involved in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. I know how hard it must be for them.

We only have the few limited stubbies that are permitted by risk assessment. It means lighting is desperately shitter, and there’s no possible solve when one of the crucial candles goes out.

Still, we’ve got birdies and clever people whose job it is to provide alternatives to the lovely thing we used to have. I do miss the truth of fire. I miss the light of candles. But it’s still a lovely space. And such a happy show. Humbug.

I forgot to take any photos as usual. Selfie.

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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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