Post length: 640 words, almost 3 minutes.

I’m currently on a train heading towards Leeds.  We just left Retford.  I’m going to stay with my parents for a couple of weeks, for a number of reasons.  Firstly next weekend sees the first Grim North’s productions for this year, ‘Stranded’, and I hear on the grapevine that there will be more than one this year, possibly some kind of pantomime around Christmas.  Secondly this weekend sees Calderdale Theatre School’s production of Coram Boy and as an ex-member of the school as well as being their webmaster, I said I’d go and see it.

I expect (kind of hope) a few days will be occupied by the Grim North stuff. It’s my one (perhaps two) chances each year to stretch my lighting design legs.  Lighting was something I did quite a bit of when I was younger in one way or another, and I really love.  At one stage I considered training to work as a theatre lighting designer, but it never happened.  I also do their photos for them.  I’ve read the script a couple of times now, but to be honest still no idea what’s going on.  (This is the same as last year.  Then only having seen it a few times did I begin to get the hang of it. I don’t know how anyone watching it once could possibly have understood it).  I’m hoping that I’ll get chance to talk to the director about his artistic direction at some point early in the week, then on Wednesday night I’m going to attend one of their rehearsals to see how they play it out.  By this time I’m going to have to have some idea of how I’m going to light the thing and will, hopefully just be finalising ideas by then.  I’m told we’ll have time in the theatre on Thursday for rigging and focussing, but it’s not confirmed yet.  If we don’t then we’re going to have real problems.  The company is in the theatre 6-10pm on the Friday when the plan is to have a block run and, hopefully, a quick tech run.  This doesn’t leave much time for anything else.  They are looking to hire a small space in Hebden Bridge on Saturday to do some final polishing, which hopefully I’ll be able to shoot, as I’ll have finished everything else by then (to be honest even if not there’s not much I can do by that stage), before being in the theatre 6-10 on Saturday and Sunday.  I think the show goes up at 7.30 so I’ll have an hour and a half to, hopefully, relax before each night.

One problem with this company is they don’t have anyone there all the time who is technical.  When they book the venue they don’t give any thought to when any kind of technical get-in might happen, so when I turn up and ask about it, it always seems to take them by surprise.  Along the same lines they don’t have many people with professional theatre experience, although there are some who have trained professionally, and certainly no one who has experience back stage, so no one thinks about the general house work needed around the theatre, so I end up doing all that too.  It gets a bit hectic.  I’m hoping this year will be a bit different – the production team have more experience and I gather there will even be a stage manager.  It could be all different.

Either way, I think I’m looking forward to it.  Despite the hard work last year, I really enjoyed it.  I’ll let you know how we get on.

I’m at Wakefield Westgate now.

Posted on Friday 19th March, 2010 at 3:22 pm in Theatre.
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