Beautiful weather mixed up with the deluge. I was about to walk to the dentist when the skies opened. Hail, frogs, cats and dogs – the lot. I decided to drive into the Congestion Charge Zone, as nowadays that costs the same as getting an uber. Remember when short hops were under a fiver? That’s how they build brand loyalty. Damage the competition as much as possible by undercutting them. Then once they’re at the top, they start overcharging. It’s the system we want, apparently. It giveth us choice and then it taketh away choice. Blessed be the name of the capitalism. Fuck it though, at least I can say “Boris Johnson is a lying creep who was never fit for purpose,” and nobody will come knocking on my door at night. But black cabs are beginning to look viable again now Uber drivers are getting picky and expensive.
The dentist was not the bearer of good news. It looks that every penny I’m going to earn in Sardinia is already earmarked for my face. It giveth. It taketh. But so long as he doesn’t haul all my molars out of my face and make me have to adjust my casting bracket. I need these cheekbones, darling, so I can keep playing hard faced aristocratic pigs.
I’m recovering from the shock of the news now, and I drove myself across town to St Peter’s Church in Bethnal Green, where we are doing the show in the crypt, so I could sit in the sunshine and breathe a bit.
One of the cast members is off for Covid this week, and we have no clue how they’re going to make it work, but I have absolute faith in the network of lovely young actors and makers who do this crazy Bletchley stuff. “How old are you,” asked one of them the other night. I told him. He responded with shock, as if I had told him I was actually a leper. “Gosh. Well, you… You’re looking very … Gosh.” Youth is wasted on the young. I’m still in my prime dammit. It’s just they’ve all got a 2 in front of it. You can’t easily empathise forwards. Anyway, the door is unlocked. I’m off into the crypt. After a quick sniff of those yellow roses like Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood, for all you film fans out there.
Show ended. What delights. I love work like this. So unprecious. Zoe came in to play the inspector and Chris shifted from inspector to Keith Batey. And it was great. It was immediate and truthful and interesting. It definitely helps that the show is massively trusted to the actors. They’ve worked out the text and the cyphers interact – the nuts and bolts. Then you just have to learn the beats and trust that your scene partners know those beats just as well as you do. The biggest learn is the cyphering. You couldn’t have a cover come in so quickly in a scripted show, without them having the book in hand. This show works and it’s really lovely, and I adore how much trust and support there is between us. It’s another lesson about where we should put our thinking when we are making immersive stuff.
We’ve put an extra show on, Saturday. Matinee. We are selling well this week… Yay. I think they’ve just broken even now on costs vs take. It’s not a licence to print money, producing theatre like this… I love the thinking that goes with it. Sure the big producer moguls were interviewing in lockdown about how they might have to give up one of their holiday homes in the Seychelles. Mostly though we are all banging around for basics, which is why the fucking dentist bill scares the fuck out of me.