Get out for Carol

The rifle range in which we did Christmas Carol is once again a rifle range.


When I left, Ria was coordinating things and Tristan was up a stepladder taking down an extremely sturdily built fake wall that provided the main entrance into the space and gave a bit of separation from the bar area.

We filled a long wheel base Luton van with incidentals and furniture related to the show. They were all clearly marked. But we took a lot more stuff than we expected. A huge wardrobe, the flats that made up the bar, boxes and boxes of silverware and gravy boats and platters, carpets, a table with a coffinish thing in it – “it’s my coffin” ended up being one of my lines as it wasn’t reading at distance. Loads of Victorian plates (I had to requisition stickers from less important things when I realised they hadn’t been marked properly – I’ll probably be back for them independently before long as they are too good to lose.)

We took them all to a warehouse near Bishop’s Stortford. I know it well. There are two warehouses next to each other on an estate and we can only use one of them.

Campbell came with me. Good nephew work. He stuck with us all day and I’ll give him some cash for his work. Jack bunged him a tenner. If you’re going to be an artist in this city you have to quickly understand the correlation between money and time, or you will collapse. He’s a dreamer but he’s not a fool. I think he’ll both do well and have integrity.

We arrived at the warehouse we use, and opened the door to find a wall of wood. There are so many shows mothballed in this warehouse. There is literally no room to walk through that door. I’m videoing it live as I’ve told Brian I’ll send him footage. We go to the other door. There is a small corridor, leading nowhere. Then all the wood, a forklift truck and a huge iron and glass tank.

At first we worry. “I don’t think we can fit it in here,” says Jack and I concur. Jack and I like to do things properly. But frankly, whoever put all the wood in front of the other door didn’t care about who came after. We end up doing the only thing we can do. We fill what’s left of the corridor. Whoever comes next will hit an impossible drop off. But for now, the show is all together, and the karma potato passes to the next soul. It’s already going to be a mammoth job to get anything from the back of the warehouse out. That’s not on us though. We are comparatively tiny. I’ve offered to be there and lend a hand because there’s also a concern where things are leaning on things which are leaning on other things throughout the warehouse which makes the whole place feel like a potential deathtrap if the wrong person moves the wrong thing.

Still. Carol is mothballed. Bye bye Christmas.

It was only on the way home that I got a message from Brian. “What about the other warehouse?”

I’ve always been told it was only that one. All the van crews, all the stage managers, everybody I know that has ever been there with me have all told me it’s just that one warehouse.

There is another warehouse right next to it.

It is huge.

I have no idea what’s in it. It might be full, of course. But for fuck’s sake!

I’m almost tempted to go out there in a car with two crew and see if it’s possible to move things. I’ve got this idea that the other warehouse is completely empty. I can’t believe it’s in play.

Anyway. It is done. And for the whole time of lifting and moving heavy stuff I didn’t mention my shoulder once. Which I’m proud of, as it was trying to murder me, but I will never let a bit of pain prevent me from doing my job. And of making sure this show is well stored…

Yes. That’s a part of my job. Especially if we get our way and go international next year. Whoever ends up in the nightie next year if I’m overseas will be glad of today’s 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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