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Day twenty-three

November 23, 2016

I figured having one of my how-are-you-getting-on-with-the-meds follow up appointments with my doctor yesterday would get me into the village and to the gym. Then the medical centre rang to say my doctor was sick and would not be in. Seriously? What are the odds? So, no doctor’s appointment to get me out of the house before I left for the second tech rehearsal.

Of course, I could have gone to the gym anyway. Of course I didn’t. My excuse? It’s the final stretch to the panto and I have too much to do. The reason? I just couldn’t be arsed. I refuse to even consider the possibility of my one-year gym membership going up in smoke after just two weeks. That will not happen. But let’s be realistic, shall we? I am probably not going to make it to the gym this week. And that’s okay. If I get my shit back together next week.

Anyway, where were we? Oh, yes. That was quite the long stroll we took down reproductive history memory lane yesterday.

The lane is actually a bit longer than that, but I stopped where I did because going any further would have involved writing about Mike, which is something I’ve never really been able to do. To write about him honestly would be too painful and to write about him any other way has always seemed pointless. Perhaps it’s time. Perhaps I should write about him. Perhaps it would do me good.

Perhaps. But not today.

Today is happy day. The tech rehearsal went very well last night. Still some polish to put on the choreography (not done by me) for the finale songs, but overall I was thrilled. This going to be a great show. I will be retiring from the panto-directing arena with a hit.

The one thing I have to remember not to do this week is deliver last year’s opening night words of encouragement to the cast.

It is an island panto tradition, begun long before my time, that the show opens with a performance by little kids from the island’s dance school. We never see them until the dress rehearsal, so it’s sort of easy to forget about them. (Well, that’s my excuse.) Just before opening night last year, I went down to the wardrobe room and loudly said, “I just want to tell you that you all totally fucking rock and this is going to be an amazing fucking show.” I then saw Robin Hood jerking his head towards the corner of the room where ten little kids were getting into their costumes. Oops.

In other theatrical news, my Prothero directing chum tells me he thinks my Prothero co-star chum is leaning towards agreeing to do my play in the new year. Fanfuckingtastic! But I am not going to hold my breath. I will believe it when I see it.

After the show last year (which he’d undertaken largely as a dare to himself), he told me he’d found the actual performances quite traumatic. You wouldn’t have guessed this if you were sitting in the audience. He said he really wasn’t sure he could face ever doing it again. He also said he’d been approached by another director about a different one-act play in 2017 and had said, “Oh, no. I’m never doing that again.” Difficult to believe anyone who’d turned out to be so bloody good at something never wanted to do it again, but there you are.

Then he made a suggestion. What if he agreed in theory to do the play with me, but gave himself until after the panto to change his mind? Oh, no, no, no, I said. He couldn’t say yes and then pull the rug out from under me. That would not do at all. So we agreed that we would leave it (while he was still so deeply traumatised) until after the panto.

As lovely a birthday present as it would have been earlier this month for him to say, “Oh, go on, let’s do it”, he didn’t. (I also didn’t get the only other thing I really wanted for my birthday: Jackass Trump was elected. Despite this, it really was a good birthday.) So I’ve just kept my fingers crossed.

When the director told me he thought it was likely we’d be getting the band back together, I was ecstatic. I admit it. As I’ve said elsewhere, I really do need something in my life to brighten up the looming short, gloomy days of winter. That said, if my mate decides it really was too traumatic, that he really truly cannot face getting on stage again, I’ll be disappointed, but I’ll live.

As I said, fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I have four performances of a huge hit to keep me going. Directing a panto is a huge amount of work. (Probably just as well I haven’t had any, you know, real work for the past while.) But when you get to the actual venue (as much as it may lack as a theatre) and see and hear what the audience is going to see and hear – the amazing costumes, the lovely sets, the great songs and jokes – it is suddenly all worth it. And, yes, it makes you very happy indeed.

And on that happy note, I leave you for today. Places to go. People to see, A mile to walk on the treadmill. Two more sleeps until show time!

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From → Black dog diary

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