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Theatre magic

November 17, 2020

Recognise this?

If you’ve been paying attention (or were involved in last year’s production) you’ll know it’s part of the set panels for Ali Baba.

If you’ve really been paying attention (as I’m pretty sure I shared this at the time) these panels were the backdrop to one of my two favourite moments from the pantos I’ve directed.

So what, you might well ask, are these panels doing currently dividing my large front room in half? There’s no panto this year and even if there was, it certainly wouldn’t be staged in my front room.

Oddly enough, they are part of a set, but not this side.

As I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned, I’ve been cast in one of two short plays we are going to be performing live online next month. To sum up: “Who knew angels began meeting via celestial Zoom long, long before we did? The Nativity didn’t just happen. A lot of planning went into it, revealed for the first time in The Christmas Project, an affectionate look at the angels – including the one who forgot to book a hotel room – who were behind it all.” I’m playing Lucy (also known as Lucifer) as was, before the new testament transformation.

The director felt the view of my front room when Lucy is zooming in could be improved and I agreed. Something red, he said. Before he’d finished making the suggestion I knew exactly what I would use: What was left (after making a tablecloth) of the fabulous fabric I bought in the market in Abuja in 2006.

All I needed to do was borrow one of the screens from storage and drape the fabric over it. Or so I thought. Unfortunately, the first screen I borrowed from storage wasn’t wide enough to fill the computer screen, so I had to take it back and bring the huge set panels home.

The fabric is indeed perfect, don’t you think? Wish I was still in touch with Jonathan, who helped me haggle in the market that day, as I’m sure he’d be quite amused to see our purchase put to this use.

I don’t want to ruin the magic, but this is what the other side of the panels, the ones facing my desk, looks like.

Lucy’s lair sorted? Check. Now I just have to learn my lines.

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