THE THEN and THE NOW

I wasn't at opening night. Strange that, given the emotional and intellectual commitment to the project. Simple explanation: I don't keep a diary and that means every now and then I'm in two places at the same time. I was at Malthouse with our Wesley Year 8 Standing Up for Shakespeare performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. It was sublime but my mind did wander to what was happening at Mills Street.

Nuworks has never been so not ready for opening night and yet I was pretty relaxed. What was there was mostly as intended albeit a little unpolished and I had absolute faith in everyone to get it right on the night. Apparently it was faith substantially justified. Jen and Meg came home pretending disappointment. I wasn't taken in for a second even though they are pretty convincing actors. Quickly, they gave up the game and reported a glowing satisfaction. The following morning I met Sian in the staffroom at Wesley and she gave the performance a great rap. Later Bindy, Mark, Pete and Lydia were all well pleased.

I'm very philosophical about this, stoic I think, there is not much emotion, more calculation. Where are we at on the journey, where do we want to be? I'm a bit disappointed with small audiences but that really doesn't matter beyond paying the bills. Most of the time we're doing shows for family and friends and that's ok. It's very rewarding, fun, a party, but this show is destined beyond that. We're taking it to Germany and England in September and then next year, hopefully to The Edinburgh Festival. So, it's all about patience and remaining objective: mostly to criticism. I'm interested in what people don't like or perhaps understand. Some of it will irritate me and I'll dismiss it, hopefully there will be insightful comments.

And before anyone gets stuck in, I've already heard about the Sophocles/Euripides confusion. I'll dispel that fairly quickly, neither wrote the text to this version, I did. And in the writing I have taken as many poetic licences as is an author's prerogative to tell a story. So what's it about: well, human nature then and now. The narrative is in the then and the now with poles and other conceits to connect them. How I see the world, my concerns. Artemis is surely a female God and mine isn't. Well actually, that's not true. Artemis is a God and can take whatever shape she chooses and she certainly wasn't at any time Orestes travelling partner in disguise, that's my addition to the tale, my dramatic reveal and if you worked it out early good for you. Look, I get a bit testy when well meaning and less so folk pick me up on accuracy. If you want accuracy stay clear of the theatre is my view. Is Hamilton accurate? Is Richard 3? The theatre isn't about accuracy, it's about ideas and a good audience will suspend disbelief, that's the deal. ENOUGH! Hope this doesn't put people off commenting but it might help a bit of helpful focus. ANYWAY I can't wait until Tuesday night rehearsal and to see where the road will lead next.


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