The Narnian performances have been going well this (second) week, with much better houses; even though the bookings were low, the door sales have been high. Ridiculous, but there you go.
There have been the usual share of minor calamities, and my tail has been caught so many times either by someone’s foot or in a piece of scenery that tonight I finally got wise and took to carrying it until I was actually on stage. Seemed to improve things. The poor tail has had a rough time of it, altogether. The seam above it has been opened twice, it’s got a bit of a bend in it, and it’s grown…through being left behind when I’m moving forward.
But the tail is the least of it, though one muddle yesterday involved it. Before Eustace is supposed to ‘swing’ me by the tail, I’m sitting on the barrel minding my own business, and waiting for the tail to be pulled. Last night I felt a tug as usual and stood up, swung round – only to find Eustace hadn’t even got near me….! Don’t ask me what the ‘tug’ was – perhaps the tail moving of its own accord – but it took a bit of recovery to get past that.
Much more spectacular was what happened during the storm scene on Wednesday morning. I climb down from the poop once it’s begun, holding the chess set (with the pieces all blue-tacked on) and usually just waddle my way round the crew who are going in all directions. This time, however, something tripped me up – I thought it was a crew member, but the director thinks it was the ‘mast’ for the sail. Whatever, I went flat on my face, banging onto my left knee and making it feel as though I’d bust something in it. Absolute agony – well, I have to say that to make the story more interesting. Certainly it was painful, and I think I must have banged my hand at the same time, as my right wrist has been very unhappy today. Some of the chess pieces went flying as well, so various members of the cast were grabbing at them as soon as the curtain closed.
Tonight I managed to get left behind somehow prior to the Rhoop scene, and had to skip on as the curtain was opening. The only problem with that was that I had to do it ‘off’ the boat. Reepicheep had apparently been off for a little swim…
Amazingly the set has survived the season: the poop creaks and groans worse than a real ship, but survives having more than half the cast (of 19) on it at one time during the sea monster scene. It isn’t pleasant to be inside it when people are walking about on it; it sounds as though something’s going to give. The prow hasn’t fallen over, even though it’s not exactly the most stable piece of scenery ever produced, and none of the triangles have gone over either. Last year, apparently, my son (who was in the play) knocked over one of the triangles. At some ten feet tall or more they ain’t a small thing to come crashing down.
Photo is of the poop deck.