A spot of theatre

I’m off to the theatre. What a delight. An opportunity to watch someone else work for a bit. I’ve been in the office ALL DAY. It’s a new record. I found myself unconsciously twitching and popping from time to time. Suddenly swearing out loud like Father Jack. “TITS!” was my lunchtime special.

I didn’t do any axe murdering though so in many ways I can call it a win. I won’t be making a habit of being in offices though.

Now I’m going to see two bloody marvelous actors speaking the words of of one of the most important living playwrights, in the achingly cool Bridge Theatre. I’m genuinely excited about it. The ticket was provided by my extraordinary cousin outlaw who is also one of the most important living playwrights. She couldn’t use her seat. I snapped it up.


I’m going to sit in this chair for an hour and just let it wash over me. I need to decompress after today. It’s almost impossible to credit how much energy and time is being spent by myself and people around me on something that is fundamentally pointless. I’m incapable of not caring so it’s like being an invested character in an unlikely sitcom where everything is constantly exploding.

The variables… If this then that if that then this but this and that and JUST FUCKING MAKE A DECISION. You can destroy something completely in the execution by trying to make it perfect in the design. Also you can stifle creativity utterly by trying to control it all.

I only know execution, so I’m just finding and sending genuine artists to these weirdos. I adore every single one of the actors I’ve dealt with so far as they understand the job interpreted through my scattered brain by phone as I can’t really write it properly. They then wryly shrug and agree to give their time for money, and I know that there’s kindness and a loyalty to me mixed up in this decision. Actors are my tribe and I am proud to be part of this mess.

Lights are going down… Theatre!!!! Yay.

That was great.

“Have you seen this play?” I overheard no less than three audience members asking this exact line of question to various members of the theatre staff before the show. “Yes. Yes I have seen it,” they all replied, because of course – they’re young theatre professionals, curious academics, fans, earning a crust. “Is it good?”

The staff members tried valiantly. “Oh, well, yes.” “I enjoyed it.” I wanted someone to say “Make your own mind up for fuck’s sake!” 

It’s inevitably well crafted. It’s made by a master, directed by a ninja, performed by two excellent and well validated performers in a high validation theatre. But that can all go for nothing if the material doesn’t speak to you.

I’m not a parent, but I’m a son to dead parents. I’m living in the pursuit of happiness but it took me many years to stop being incredibly sad. It spoke to me about responsibility and about legacy. About the choices that make us who we are. About the things that we want versus the things that we get. About the things we forget to notice about ourselves. But the point is that a good story speaks to everybody with a different voice. Those people in that audience would all have found a different route through the windings of the words. And the words work.

I’m glad I found time for some theatre. I’m glad C gave me the ticket. I’ll sleep happily now with good dream-fodder, instead of waking up with nightmares about animals falling off buildings. Gnight. Or good morning, I suppose, future people. Don’t panic, future people. It’s all going to be fine.

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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