Making theatre is hard. Not hard like being a doctor is hard, or like climbing a mountain is hard, or teaching children is hard, but still, it’s pretty hard. Sometimes it feels a bit like trying to get blood out of a stone.*
At the moment our show is in a state of reshuffle. It works like this – each section of the show, of which there are many, is written onto a strip of paper and blutack is affixed to the back. The strips of paper then go onto a board or the wall in an order. And then we run this order and try to work out what’s wrong. And then we fix it.
This bit is ok, but the problem is always with balance. This show, particularly, feels like a very delicate balancing act. So when you move the bit of material that didn’t work where you’d originally placed it, suddenly everything else is wrong. You’ve now got a section where Jojo is talking for six minutes whilst Rachael just sits on the floor, or the pilot sections are too close together and we lose the sensation of weaving the story through.
And so then you have a lot of other bits of paper to move, rearrange, and you can sometimes forget what one you were moving in the first place. Sometimes it even ends up back in the same place with us thinking we’ve moved it and made the show better.
Then we run it again. Talk about it. Find new problems that weren’t there before. Reshuffle…
It feels like we’re getting there, but that feeling of the show constantly being *just* out of reach – we have all the ingredients, all the performances, texts to make an hour long show that we really rate – is infinitely frustrating. We know we have to make it work, there won’t be a golden solution (probably) where everything suddenly fits perfectly, but at the moment the little bits of paper are getting curly at the edges and the blutack is starting to lose its stick and something is always in the wrong place, and it can feel a bit like we’re going round in circles……………….
*A mountain doctor?