On and off stage

It’s been a bit of a performing-oriented week. On Monday I met a potential actor for my new one-act play; he was ideal! But at the rehearsal of Treasure Island on Wednesday I found that one of the other actors had changed his mind – understandable; he’s a young guy with work to do for his university entry, which is a little more important than my play, I suppose. The hunt for a cast continues – I’m seeing another new guy tonight, but I still need a woman. Oh dear. Anyway, I also did lots of prep on Monday, and was asked to do a day’s training, which is always good.

Tuesday at the school was fun – we looked at fossils and coal and various bits of rock, and the kids wrote and performed some good poems. In the evening I went to see The Green Hornet (not my choice), which was harmless twaddle.

The prison had their Holocaust Memorial Event on Wednesday and five of the guys from my group were reading pieces they had written, so I went in to give moral support and some last-minute coaching. Only four of them turned up, but they were great. The booklet they have written for kids visiting the prison has been judged excellent, and the feedback from last year’s Koestler awards finally arrived, and that was complimentary too, so a good day all round.

I didn’t mention that at the rehearsal on Wednesday evening, The Bloke brought along the animatronic parrot he has created. It’s amazing. I’m sure that once people notice it moving its head and flapping its wings they will completely ignore everything else on stage.

Thursday was at home – TADS minutes, prep for Friday and this week, write-ups, practice for my gig on Sunday, lots of emails, work on a book of prison pieces, and even a bit of gravel-spreading, despite the cold. Loads done – never enough, though.

On Friday I was very busy. The patients in the Oncology Unit were as inspiring as always; the nurses produced some good work; the Tewkesbury surgery group were astounding. In the evening I went to see The Little Shop of Horrors – one of the plays I am adjudicating – which was really good fun. I wished I could have just sat back and enjoyed it, rather than spend the evening making notes.

I had a day off on Saturday and didn’t really do anything! In fact, I was a bit restless – doing nothing at all doesn’t come naturally. There was quite a bit of doing nothing on Sunday, but it was purposeful nothingness – tech and dress rehearsals for the Tewkesbury Mayor’s show, and the actual gig in the evening. It was a good show, and my poems seemed to go down well – carefully chosen for a family audience, of course. To be honest, I loved every minute of it – out there on the big stage with an audience of about 350 people. I wish I had more chances to perform – but never mind. I have plenty to do without a stage to stand on.

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