Last Sunday we had a van and some seaweed. This week, we have six performances under our belts, three full houses, a look out post… and a monumental hangover.
What I certainly also have at the end of this week is a re-affirmed sense of love for this rich, dark, allusive, intelligent play, which Conall was generous enough to hand over to us. It’s still yielding new insights to all of us – not least in terms of unpicking its many tiers of literary reference (thank you, Synge, for your ladies and their thrown shifts). The writing is learned without being smug; self-aware without being cynical; full of sentiment, but without being sentimental.
…All of which is quite enough sentiment from me. So what happened this week? Well, we had to say goodbye to Ruth and Max and Tom, our brilliant design team, after press night, which broke my heart a little bit. Other jobs, you say? Don’t be silly! Come back and keep us company. After all, we have birthday cake, soda stream and a little infestation of fruit flies, which if you ask me is inducement enough for anyone to stick around.
This week, we also say goodbye to Anthony Pinnick, our first Airman, seen here being smothered by Edward (Damien Tracey).
Contrary to what this photo might suggest, we haven’t snuffed Anthony out in the name of art (we just gave him hypothermia in the first preview instead). He was a great Airman and a charming cast member and he will be missed! Note to Week 2’s Airman – Anthony always bought every round and kept the dressing room well-stocked with Waitrose goodies…
Some things we have learnt and discovered this week: 1) who needs three weeks when you’ve got three days 2) chicken and cheese AND hash browns from Tennessee Chicken are not necessarily the best idea 3) it is possible for a grown man to be sick neatly on his own shoulder during the Liverpool game – coinciding with our interval – and not even to notice and 4) just how lucky we are to have such a talented cast and team on board.
Finally, this photo (above) is, I think, my favourite of all our production shots (incidentally, taken by the lovely Dan Smyth – check out his website here http://www.dansmythphotography.com/) I won’t spoil it by explaining its context, if you haven’t seen the show, but for me it encapsulates the surreal beauty of the writing and design and performances.
So, yeah. Check back for more photos soon, which we are drip-feeding onto our social media in an attempt to entice you all a) to navigate our various online platforms and b) you know, sort of, to come and see the show.