Two shows done and all that adrenaline coursing through my veins. I’m not match fit. As always happens when it’s been a while since I played, I attacked so hard I exhausted myself. Nevertheless, an absolute joy to be back on stage – and to be back on that stage too. That living stage.
I don’t know how many years ago – maybe in the 80’s – Phil and Sue planted a theatre here. Such a wonderful vision. A living willow tree. A living stage. It is a little haven, and they love to bring things like this Dream to their audience. Two new players and lots of old friends and now here we are sitting round a table stacked with food in a little stone building close to that living stage where we just did two shows, talking as if we have all been close friends forever, despite me meeting two of these people yesterday. Not an official Factory show, so we could get away with being a bit loose. We had a huge amount of fun and tried to apply rigour where we could. I think we made two strange and lovely shows today. I’m surprised by how much it took it out of me. I’m tired. I’m happy. But I’m tired.
The conversation is about whether or not to do it again somewhere. “We’ve just found a show,” says Simon – and he’s right. This reduced squad with all the restrictions we’ve had building it – we even had one player coming on with the book after Kaffe had to self isolate at the last minute… But we found a clear mad telling of this well known play. And bigod we did it live together. I feel emotional about it now. I’m sad we will break up this little company – just as we’ve made it. But this is a long-standing friendship group, which has always had a flow of people joining and leaving. We’ve been training together and growing together for long enough. We part and we regroup in different shapes and forms throughout the years, flocking like birds through this strange and delightful profession. So many times now I’ve been part of a group like this, stepping into the unknown like we did, and doing it together – with each other, with the audience. This company has been at the heart of many of those happy groups and those happy bonkers memories.
I’m gonna rejoin this rare communal meal, this enthusiastic conversation between a group of people processing adrenaline. What a joy, once more. Tired. Happy. Tired.