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Power off

December 4, 2022

Actually the power was on – yesterday – at the hall, so no worries about putting on the matinee, which went really well. Either word of mouth is still working despite the lack of internet or people who’d planned to buy their tickets online but hadn’t got around to it before the power (and everything else) went out on Tuesday just turned up on the door, because we had quite a few walk-ins to supplement the 34 pre-ordered tickets. And what a good audience it was. They started booing the evil stepmother after the first word that came out of her mouth. Even the crew member who brings on the throne in the first scene got a round of applause.

As has become a panto tradition, Dave, Jan and I went out for dinner between the end of the matinee and the evening show. I had to come home briefly first to pick something up. When I met them at the restaurant, Jan shared a piece of “good” news she’d managed to pick up with the data on her mobile. It seemed BC Hydro planned to cut the power off on the island for two to four hours starting at 11am so Telus could attempt to string a temporary wire from Vancouver Island to here. And, no, this does not necessarily mean my phone will be functional at some point today. The wire in question is being strung to try to completely restore mobile phone service. Oh, goodie. No help to me then in communicating with the outside world if I’m in my house.

And it was the opposite of helpful as far as staging this afternoon’s matinee – our final performance. It’s due to start at 2pm, with people needing to begin arriving at the hall at 12:45 for costumes and makeup. If the job does take four hours the power won’t be back on again until 3pm.

So, back to the hall after dinner to inform the cast and crew about the planned outage and about the plan. The plan was simple. If the power was still off at 2pm, we would open the curtains at the side of the hall to let in as much light as we could and start the performance with no stage lights or sound, singers doing the best they could without their music. The show would go on. My decision was greeted with some minor panic from a couple of the singers, but mostly slaps on the back and even one big hug from a cast member. Yes! This is what we do. The show must go on. It was now up to those cast and crew members who could actually access Facebook on their mobiles to blast the message out on the community bulletin board.

Well, it’s 10:30 now and when I got up 45 minutes ago the power was already off. Haven’t checked yet with Donna, the only person I can call, who gets up earlier than I do, to find out when it went off, but, if it was already off at 9:45, with a bit of luck they’ll finish the job before show time. If not, we will soldier on. 

I’d like to send out a text to various people suggesting they bring torches to help navigate around backstage in the dark if needs must, but of course I can’t, because I have no mobile service. (And still no idea when I will be able to call anyone other than Donna or when other people will be able to call me on my landline. Sigh.

On Thursday I drove over to Ray’s (because I couldn’t call, email or text him) to ask if he could come to that evening’s performance to film it. With more snow in the forecast for Friday, I wasn’t sure we’d manage more than one performance, so I wanted to make sure we could at least offer people who’d bought tickets the chance to view the show online (eventually). Despite everything the weather and communications gods have thrown at us, we will do all five shows. 

Something to celebrate – assuming the power has actually been restored by the time we get to the golf club for the wrap party this evening.

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