The stress of the theatre

When I was little I used to put on plays with friends that we’d create, rehearse and perform in a day. There would always be a frantic rush of getting things ready before the set living-room performance time as something would always have been forgotten to be done. Today I find that nothing has changed.

Amateur performances as a teenager were a rush to pull together (often with disastrous dress rehearsal before opening night), drama degree performances never came together until the last few days, and everything seems to happen last minute on the fringe.

I’ve recently had to meet the deadline for registering a show for this year’s Brighton Fringe and let me tell you, it was hectic. A week before deadline I had no venue – by a stroke of good fortune I found an excellent one. They required lots of copy, the filling out of technical details for a show I haven’t even made and a production image – again for this unmade show. The day before the deadline I was working with the photographer on redoing the image, the original version of which wasn’t going to be strong enough to stand out in the brochure.

I now continue to frantically try to finish writing the play, and get it to a standard where I will allow anyone else to read it. At the same time I need to be getting a move on with Edinburgh Fringe applications and Arts Council funding ones.  No matter how prepared you think you are, in the theatre there will  always be something to be done last minute. A prop to be replaced, a costume to be repaired or even an actor to be subbed in for…nothing is certain, nothing is fixed, everyone is creative and therefore slightly insane and something is bound to go wrong. Theatre is transient and adrenaline fuelled – and that’s why most of us love it.


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