Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Post Production Note.

When a production run is over I suffer for a couple of days. After months of being focused on a task I am feeling a bit adrift, somewhat lacking in direction and hungry for another thing to fill my time.  It is a jolly good thing that I  have blogging to fall back on. Of course I have loads of other things I could be doing. There are still pictures to be hung at home.  There are blankets lying unfinished in my crochet box.   I have letters to write. Cakes to bake. Papers that need sorting. A passport that needs finding......... I have a garden that needs my attention.  Not to mention a husband that probably needs the same.  Oh and  my job could get a look in. You get the picture.
But not right now. I have just a few lastw things to write on chekhov's cigarette - I promise no more after this.

On reflection I am inordinately happy that I kicked my butt into gear and got involved in a play. This project was just what I needed to get me back into theatre although I really was not much interested in doing a Chekhov. I had a few preconceived notions of those  bloody Russian plays weighting me down which  meant that I gave them scant attention until forced to seriously consider doing one. Now I am a convert and a fan. Thank you Cliff. When will I learn? I am like a stuck record. I ALWAYS stick with what I know and when I am forced out of that comfort zone I ALWAYS love it. Every aspect of my life bears out this ridiculous blind spot in my character.
Last Rehearsal
But back to the subject.
I did visual teasers for all the plays that made up Chekhov’s Cigarette except MINE. There is a reason for this. The pictures I took were pretty dull and I was hoping that the professional pictures would be better but somehow for our show those did not materialise, which was a small disappointment as you can imagine but not the end of the world. I do feel that if I am directing a show I really should have some pictures out there that at least include the show I was involved in. So, what follows is a selection of informal pictures taken over the run of the show mainly back stage. Some of them were taken in complete darkness with a flash so be kind about the quality of production.

back stage without a flash.

Toby with some of the Gals

Old Toby

Now, you might be wondering why we were in complete darkness. Well my darlings, those of us who suffer for our art sometimes do so in a backstage areas that are not meant to be used as theatre backstage anything! For reasons technical we were IN THE DARK, for the entire time  that there was something going on, on stage.  Nothing focus your mind more than spending a couple of hours in the dark each night for a few days. 

Three very luck men.
It was lovely to meet new people and do a bit of back stage work. All hands on deck for the Dubai Drama Group. We had actors moving sets, directors moving sets, lighting people too, in fact anyone we could collar moved sets. The lovely Kalylie put her Uni. training to  good use by ageing Toby every night. No small feat considering this was not done under the bright lights of a standard dressing room. Our dressing room was an exhibition space. Our wardrobe - a ladder, and we used our phones as mirrors. Thank God for selfies! No cast (ing) couch in this production.  If anyone needed to rest weary bones they had to lie on the floor, or lean against a wall. I may be exaggerating a little here but as you can see from the photos I am not exactly fibbing. Props were begged, borrowed, but not (to the best of my knowledge) stolen from wherever and whoever we could get them from. The entirely appropriate lectern used in "the evils of Tobacco" was beautifully made and donated  by a work colleague of mine. Thank you Imad.  Husbands were roped into helping with sound cues. Lifts given. Drinks shared.
All smiles!
Dreaming about sofa's
Each evening before the show started and after it ended a few of us hung around outside having (almost illicit) cigarettes. I don't smoke no sir-eee. My lungs are still recovering.
Audiences that arrived early were “treated” to vocal warm ups in the form of  cast members who were enthusiastic Musical Theatre pundits singing at the top of their lungs all the show songs they could remember.   
There was a lovely collaborative, team effort, atmosphere about the whole production.  All so jolly warm and cosy. Sigh.  I had forgotten what it is was that makes people do this Amateur Drama thing over and over again. Now I remember! It is, I suppose, a non sporty way of being in a team with all the highs and camaraderie that come from working together for a common goal.
Arividerchi theatre lovers.
Well deserved Drinks for cast / crew and fans.

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