Well. A calm night at home. No sign of the new temporary flatmate or of her probably sociopathic amigo. So I’m winding myself down towards bed ahead of a read through tomorrow. I’ve got myself home early. I’m already mostly able to sleep, which is good as now we are open I’ve got to start activating my days. I’ve still got the hammer on my bed just in case they show up at midnight fighting in which case I might have to appear backlit in my pants with it casually in one hand like I’ve been doing repairs. “Where are you sleeping tonight, Mark? The tubes stop running soon.”
I slept most of today because I could and because I was awake most of last night. It’s like when I had to sleep in the top bunk above a Brazilian fascist on Camino. I start to imperceptibly vibrate when I’m too close to poison. I can’t shut down easily in the vicinity of a dark personality. I didn’t last night. I ran into K in the morning before I was awake fully. I told her I didn’t want him staying the night again. That’s the best I’ve managed so far but I only had 30 seconds. I care about her enough to not want her to be swept up in his shit. I also despair of her enough to know already that if there’s shit to be swept up in, she’ll sweep herself into it if she isn’t swept. And I’m utterly certain that I’m too old for this crap so she’s getting her notice the next time I can sit with her. But I’m busy. So who knows when that’ll be.
The show was great tonight. It always is. That’s the anchor. We had some excellent notices over the weekend including this one – (although the mulled wine mentioned at the start was only for press). None of the reviews got my acting name right, which is a Christmas Carol tradition – (this time I’m Alexander Barclay). But they all got the show although The Stage were unnecessarily sniffy about our designer, who transformed a horrible impossible shooting range that had never been used as a theatre into a good looking and viable performance space with only a few days on the job, mostly through goodwill. Shitty for her as she did something out of goodwill and it burnt her unnecessarily. And that’s the nature of theatre criticism. All of the opinion, none of the context. The Stage couldn’t know her budget or how long she was employed or what she had time to look at.
You have to have a perspective, an area of expertise, an opinion. I’ve hauled out young actors before for refusing to have an opinion. If it’s all beige, that just makes your work beige. But fuck. Of all the people for them to have been mean about… #stagerage
An old friend from school said this evening “you’re a writer, why don’t you go into theatre criticism?” I told them that if I was honest I’d lose friends, and if I was dishonest I’d lose integrity.
But if I was writing about this show I’d be all for it. It’s a glorious show. “Alexander Barclay and JimJack Witham were wonderful as Scrodge and Merlay. Considering the constraints the design was superb. Everybody is working really fucking hard to make this land. Five stars. ”