In a few hour times, we will turn off the music, fade out the lights, switch off the heaters and close the curtains of the ‘Hotdog’ stand. But until then, we are receiving many many more visitors on this last weekend here in Bern.
Few of them are revisiting Of All the People in All the World. One performer from the World version in Schutggart came by earlier and asked us to convey his hello to that team back in 2005. One visitor from that first world version came also and would have liked to have added the souvenir bag for the Bern 2011 to his collection. That’s an idea!
Some came back from the first weekend to see the changes, among them our landlady and a ‘grosspapi’ a granddad who took his grandchildren along the second time . One child from one of the 21 workshops we have done, came back with his mother and sister.
And many many more new visitors, all very interested, all thanking us for this work.
But before I hand over the key of the Reitschule, there is the ‘Finissage’, with a performance from a dancer who arrived from India 2 days ago. So there is a few more hours for more visitors…
Sunday. A day off for the company after a hectic, but brilliant week. Orleton Village Hall was just the most brilliant place for our first show- a packed out audience, a raffle in the interval, the Viner’s in attendance, and a very appreciative crowd all round. When we did the show last year, I didn’t get to see it in a village hall, so this was a real treat- such a different atmosphere to a theatre-tea and coffee and biscuits and bring your own booze (some people seemed to bring full on picnics-a wise move!) all hands on deck to set the seating out, and a sense of everyone coming together to catch up and have a good evening. Joyful. What a great start to the tour.
And then onto Saturday for a totally different kettle of fish as we transported our set to the Courtyard in Hereford. From the intimate, cosy confines of a village hall, to a big 400 seater theatre. Upon arrival, we were told we had sold out, something that seemed to be a big achievement according to the staff, which was incredibly encouraging and maybe a little bit nerve wracking. Nothing like a bit of adrenaline for the second show! A lovely space, and we spent the afternoon testing sight lines, acoustics and making sure that the company felt comfortable playing in this bigger space while Alex made it look lovely.
It was a big night for Pentabus as it saw the launch of our new Patron’s scheme, so we had lots of special guests coming to watch the show, some who were interested in getting to know the company and some who were already providing us with vital support. It was a great second show, the company really pulled out all the stops and were fantastic, and the audience seemed very responsive to the story. Nick Warburton was in the audience too, so it was nerve wracking for us all seeing how he would respond to the new company and to see how the new version of the script went down. I think he approved! After the show, we all headed to a drinks reception where Orla O’Loughlin and Kate Organ, the new chair of the board, each said a few inspiring and important words about the history and future of the company and we all raised glasses of fizz and ate delicious Herefordshire themed canapes (locally grown apple muffins, local bacon and cheddar quiches. Yum.)
So, as I head back to London, the company embark on their 5 week tour. I will not see it for a couple of weeks, and very much look forward to seeing how it grows in my absence!
The Palace of Wasted Dreams
Thurs 3rd – Sat 5th & Wed 9th – Sat 12th February, 8pm
mac, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH
Tickets & Information:0121 446 3232 www.macarts.co.uk
Tickets £12 (£8) (Suitable for ages 14+)
It’s here, it’s arrived. Come on in! The Palace of Wasted Dreams.
Licensed for laughing, crying, dancing, singing, surprising and thinking on.
A place where anything can happen, and something always does…
Whether you’ve been before or it’s your very first time, come on down to the Palace!
The Palace of Wasted Dreams is the culmination of a two-year project called Wasted, a new participatory musical theatre project exploring and giving voice to women’s relationship with alcohol.
An essential night out, an intoxicating total live theatre experience. Dress for a night out. Non-drinkers very welcome!
The Palace of Wasted Dreams has been devised by Women & Theatre from materials gathered through research. It is performed by Women & Theatre and a cast of local people and directed by Gwenda Hughes. Music has been composed by Gurdan Thomas and The Company, with musical direction by Clare Edwards. Production Design is by Andrew Purvin, Lighting Design by Simon Bond, and Stage Management by Sara Crathorne.
The Palace of Wasted Dreams is a co-production with mac and is supported by Arts Council England, Aquarius, Sir Barry Jackson Trust, Bryant Trust, AERC, John Feeney Charitable Trust, Birmingham City Council, the Harry Payne Trust, The Grimmitt Trust and The Cole Charitable Trust.
This weekend a team from Birmingham Repertory Theatre are doing the get-in for a production of The Rememberers @ A E Harris. Their site has mini-video on how to get to the venue, which is novel. The show runs from 4th – 19th February. It is a co-production with our old friends Apples & Snakes who specialise in promoting poetry. Reassuringly we’ve just discovered that the production manager is Rachel Shipp, a mini-legend of the performance world who was technical manager at the ICA through the early 90s, everything should run smoothly. Why not come down to check it out?
The clock is ticking on The Cardinals. Things are coming together and I think it is going to be brilliant, the question is whether it can be Brilliant by 8th February and whether sections of it can be brilliant by the time a delegation arrives from Montpellier on Monday evening.
A quick update on our progress. As I write this, (in a vain attempt to feel busy) the Tales company are downstairs in the rehearsal room, packing up props, costume and taking the set down for the first time. They will then load the van and head to our first venue; Orleton village hall, about 10 miles away from here, where we will do our first show in front of an audience. Tomorrow night. Very exciting. After the smoothest tech in theatre history (I imagine), we managed not one, but two dress rehearsals! An excellent chance to get to know the show with added lights and sound, and to perfect all those ridiculously quick costume changes. It is lovely to see the sudden shift in the show as a result of lights and music, it is looking and sounding lovely-all that’s missing now is an audience. And we have but 24 little hours left before this final and crucial stage is complete! We are all sold out tomorrow, which is excellent news, and the Viner family will be part of that first audience-they saw the show 4 times last time round, so it will be great to have their support. As no audience is the same, it will also be really interesting to see what people connect to and laugh at. I can’t wait!
Right. It is all sounding very productive down in the rehearsal room, I might go and try to make myself useful and make everyone a cup of tea! I am very good at that.
Watch this space to find out how our first night goes, and some blogs from members of the company on their way…….
A date for the diary: Just as soon as current show The Cardinals has returned from its premiere in Montpellier, Stan’s Cafe will be reprising The Cleansing of Constance Brown @AEHarris, in Birmingham. Craig has edited a new showreel from Joseph Potts’s documentation of March 2008 – the last time the show appeared in the UK. Since then Constance Brown has cleaned up in Bucharest, Toronto, Mainz, Montpellier and Cologne and we’re thrilled that it’s once more returning home. The show will perform twice nightly (at 6.30pm & 8.30pm) between the 1st – 19th March 2011 (not sundays or mondays). Tickets can be booked through the MAC Box Office.
Please note, a maximum of 45 seats are available for each performance.