Back into The Tempest, and again I’m stunned by these creative hearts. I know I’ve surrounded my life with remarkable unusual people. But it takes a show like this to remind me of how deep it goes. I’m the straight man in this. Me. The straight man. Yep. That’s how mental this lot are.
Oh how I love it. I’m happy to be part of something live and fun and silly in this weird isolated world we find ourselves in. I’m thrilled that Creation and Big Telly get to pick up audiences all over the world for a sweet and fun experiment. All of us are constantly having to up our tech game. I’ve bought new lights, which just arrived, but right now I have to work my legs super hard to be at the right angle for the screen. I’ll be buying equipment until I’m satisfied that my home studio environment is flawless. All this for live theatre during lockdown. But there’s not much else that would fire me up as much. This Tempest is bringing people together from all round the world, into the same environment at the same time. There’ll be a lot more of this before too long. But right now it’s still just either unstructured play-readings, monologues or old recorded shows.
Another actor has bought lights for his playing space, and he is not even doing the show at his own home. He has had a history of bad health and is staying with people who offered him a stable space outside of the cities. Like me he has dedicated a space and constructed a greenscreen studio. My greenscreen is still the teal paint in my living room, and I’m seriously considering just getting a proper one as teal is a fairly common colour.
All of us are using everything we have access to. One of us is making use of his sister to provide effects off screen, essentially by getting her to throw things at him. I know that if there was somebody here they’d be co-opted by me into doing something. Also they’d be hounded out for conflicting internet use, as my internet is entirely taken with this. And I need to pay attention as I very nearly spat water all over my laptop keyboard as an effect.
Everybody is using everything at their disposal entirely to make this the best craic it can be. And it’s real craic because we all know it’s a bunch of people stuck at home playing “let’s pretend”.
That’s the sadness of it. The teleportation thing I touched on a few days ago. There we all are laughing and dancing and suddenly we aren’t anymore. We are alone.
I think that might be the next stage. That we all stay in the zoom and break out the wine and hang out with whoever wants to stay. Certainly for the late show, not for the matinee. It can be like Christmas Carol. “We’ll get changed but feel free to stay, once we are out of costume we’d love to hang out.” Sure, sometimes Jack and I were exhausted and didn’t want to hang out with anyone. But we did, and it cemented the evening for many of the people who don’t normally go to theatre.
Either way, joy. I’m glad to be part of something delightful. And it’s only £20. Not that I need to push tickets. It’s been selling very well.