First night is done. An interesting bunch in the house. Three old bachelors in pride of place in the audience, connected to the venue. Maybe they own it? They were trying to work out how to balance the fact that this is low theatre and high theatre at the same time. Deliberate worldbreaks from them in the show and then pointed slightly snarky double meaning talk after until thankfully it turned out that one of them was genuinely friends with my uncle. They enjoyed it. Just … some people are worried about being seen to have fun if it’s not highbrow. Nobody who invests stock in being thought of as clever wants to be seen to enjoy something populist. And we are deliberately pitching our cleverballs low. The Dickens museum gave their seal of approval some years ago, as they understood that despite the craziness we are adhering very closely to the text. People who don’t know very much can sometimes worry that we haven’t done the work.
It was raucous, as ever. We are presiding over a party. This was a good, slightly gobby audience. This show was built in the North. It is MADE for people who don’t go to theatre very often if at all. You will be incorporated if we can do it. Honestly, the bulk of the lovely Jersey audience were there to have fun and as they did. The only weirdness came from those “special” people, and thankfully they knew my poor deceased uncle and allowed themselves to reframe. We had Spanish, Italian, Polish… We were full and it was clear. It landed. Phew. They mostly stayed after the show, as we always hope they will. We got to talk to them. There were some brilliant jokers. I got roundly hauled out for my scraggly beard.
And so. We are open. The days will start to shift. Until now I’ve been rehearsing in the day. Once we’ve ironed out the tech and details, it’ll be down to Jack and I to essentially monitor ourselves, tweak and rework moments as needed, and build towards the best version of this show that we can build towards for this lovely island. Before long we will get our days back and I can BE here.
Meantime I’m winding down. All that adrenaline. It’s half twelve and it feels like early evening. I’ll likely get used to it again before long. And I’m so happy to be back in performance LIVE. Fuck. About time. Oh hell. Truly about time. Here we go… Ebenezer Scrooge.
Here’s a rehearsal shot. I’m knackered.