One year in the planning, three months in the making and it all boils down to… PRODUCTION WEEK.
The make or break for any production, professional or amateur, are those crucial final few days before curtain up but in the amateur world they are for the most part only days away from the final curtain call, too!
Yes, production week for my latest amateur adventure is upon me – and what better outlet than a cheery production diary to document all those highs and lows, the rapturous applause (or so we hope!?) and stage-side terrors.
3 Nights to Curtain up…
Heading to the first technical rehearsal is like heading for the start line of a marathon. You have put in all the training and here it is – the big day. Except it’s dark, you can’t see the track, but you can tell innumerable obstacles lurk in the black expanse before you and you can just make out the tiny bright speck of a finish line on the horizon, which looks both too far away and too close all at once.
Yes – the end is in sight! But there’s still a long way to go, and we’re completely in the dark about the obstacles we are about to tackle in the behemoth of THE THEATRE, which will undoubtedly do everything in its power to thwart us in our ambitions to be seen and heard on the big night, now just 3 restless sleeps away.
Will the set fall around our ears and literally break a leg? Will the ‘rabbit in the headlights’ look spook us into freezing up? Or the sudden presence of furniture in place of plastic chairs cause everyone to forget their positions, just aimlessly bumping into each other as we attempt to recreate moves that are suddenly in a space twice as big, laid with lethal trip hazards (pouffes and footstools?)
Oh, the endless anxieties… This is FUN, we will all tell ourselves, as half the cast have line blocks, the other half corpse and the Director tears her hair out on the verge of a nervous breakdown…
FUN! As you recall the numerous scenes sitcoms played on TV, of the last minute accidents and subs that haunt amateur theatre, where there is no such luxury as an understudy!
FUN! As you fall asleep on the train, exhausted, after putting in more hours hard work than you do in your day job, only you haven’t got paid, only to get up and do it again and again on repeat for a week!
Welcome to production week!
We all know that however much we complain, we’ll be lost without it next week when it’s gone.