Follow by Email

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Frequently Asked Questions

In any long run you start hearing a lot of the same questions from the audience. There have been three frequent flyers for Everyman and they are as follows.
Question 1. How much is it?
See previous blog post.

Question 2. How do you learn all those lines?
This is a commonplace for actors, but it's particularly true of storytellers where the word count is in thousands and, in my personal repertoire, tens of thousands. Always one must bite ones tongue and not say, "it's my job".  I have considered printing business cards with a stock answer, but that might be a bit passive aggressive.

Question 3. Have you ever thought of performing in a church?
"Well, yes.  Yes I have.  In fact, I'm performing at one on Sunday.  See, it's on the tour schedule."
Again, I don't say this, it's a passive aggressive response to a reasonable question and the answer is interesting.

I haven't had much luck getting into churches or persuading church goers to see Everyman.  There is a history to such things of course - churches historically don't like drama.  It's a long bias, set up by the early Roman church, and it runs deep, even in a modern ministry.  There is a reason that even the early mystery plays and moralities were banished from the church; they were a distraction from the central purpose of the ministry, tainted by association with the pre-Christian pagan theatre.  This is compounded by the fact that modern Christianity has changed since medieval times and so even a Christian text can be considered suspect because it teaches things that have since fallen by the wayside.  Some people are openly suspicious and occasionally actively hostile to a dramatic performance in a church - the suspicion being that a heathen such as myself would present a mocking form of the play in their sacred space.  (This isn't actually an unreasonable suspicion - I have form.)  Were I a congregant this might not be a barrier, the audience for the shows being reassured that I followed at least one branch of Christian thinking and would play with a straight bat.

But, ask my questioners, there are shows in churches all the time.  Yes, I reply, but even though churches are often used for performance, it is almost always music.  Music is safer and there is a long tradition of music in churches; even if it isn't liturgical, it is in sympathy with the space.

Acoustically churches are not great for drama - a solo voice can carry, but the cut and thrust of dialogue gets lost in the echo.  Also, more importantly, the line of sight is terrible, so you're compromised on what people can actually see.  When I performed at St Mary's Church, Chilton, I was okay because it's fairly small.  (I also got to deliver God's speech from the pulpit, which felt delightfully naughty - I suspect I might have made a good vicar.)
Ideally Everyman shouldn't be seen in a church at all - a small chapel perhaps, but not a church.  I am always looking for a 'sacred' space, i.e. a space with atmosphere - which most village halls sadly do not have.  I first performed my version of Everyman in the Guildhall in Lavenham, which has the weight of history behind it.  When I performed the show at the Quay Theatre I spent hours trying to make the room I was using different, unfamiliar, in some sense atmospheric.  I have attempted similar with all the other spaces I've performed at, with greater or lesser success.

Despite the difficulties of performing in church spaces I have offered the show to them, sometimes just as part of a round robin, sometimes via direct intersession.  The result has been a blank.  No interest.  The only spaces where these plays are welcome are, ironically, secular, or in the case of St Mary's Church, infrequently used (though still consecrated) and that came about by a round about kind of route.  De-consecrated or seldom used churches and chapels are always more accommodating because, though they used to function as such, they are not longer as sacred a space as they used to be.  Only by the action of actor, text and audience (priest, liturgy, congregation) will a 'sacred' atmosphere appear - the similarity between the ritual of the liturgy and the ritual of theatre is a commonplace.

A sense of the sacred is abstract; a space isn't inherently sacred, it can have greater potential to act as a sacred space, but sacredness, as it were, is an active thing.  Like the tree falling in the forest, if no one is there to hear it, it doesn't make a sound - there's only a vibration in the air.  Without people inhabiting it, a space is just a place.  We make it something special.  And that's what I try to do with my show, if only for an hour or so.
It looks like Everyman will pop up again every so often, here and there.  Maybe more churches will get in touch, maybe I'll find more spaces with an air of the sacred - we shall see.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

After Everyman - Thank You

Twenty shows, a little over a month, and a lot of Good and Bad Deeds - thus ends the tale of The Summoning of Everyman.  I'm not saying I won't perform it again, but I won't take it on tour again in this way and not for a while.  I've learnt a lot of good lessons about how to do a tour like this and that means the next touring show - Metal Harvest - will be a leaner, meaner, performance machine.  Well, sort of.

Special Thanks to Jacqueline Cooper Clark - who acted as FOH and has been tirelessly posting about the show online - Belinda Hasler, Phil & Rachel Hope, Bryan Thurlow, Jennifer Davis; Mark Saberton for the gift of shirts as well as other kindnesses; Fiona Dinning for continued support to project Milk Bottle and all the fabulous people who run village halls across Suffolk and Essex, many of whom have gone out of their way to promote the show and make me feel welcome.  Apologies if I've missed anyone out!


I'll finish archiving the shirt of Bad Deeds and the last of the Good Deeds next week.

Stisted Village Hall - the final venue.

The interior - lit by the demonic glow of overhead wall heaters

Me and my shadow at Boxted and Hartest

St Mary's Church Chilton... twas a little chilly.

Steeple Bumpstead - pity I didn't need the stage for this show...



Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Price Elasticity of Pay-What-You-Want

"The drama's laws, the drama's patrons give,
For we that live to please, must please to live."  Samuel Johnson.

I've still to sit down and crunch the numbers properly, but Pay-What-You-Want is an odd beast.  We all know about price elasticity based on demand - the more people want something the more they are willing to pay, working in ratio with the supply of goods on offer.
Pay-What-You-Want doesn't work that way - partly because the supply/demand side is a done deal.  If you've got into the show, you've got into the show - there's no pre-bargaining over price.  So you pay what you want to pay afterwards.  And that's where things get interesting.
We live in a consumer society.  We know the price of everything - we value things in part because of the price.  If it costs a lot of money it must be worth that money, rather than the other way round.  So Pay-What-You-Want confuses people.  Here's a not untypical conversation.

AUDIENT:  So, how much is it?
ME:  It's Pay-What-You-Want.
AUDIENT:  So, how much is that?
ME:  Whatever you want.
AUDIENT:  So, five pounds... ten pounds?
ME:  It's whatever you want to give.
AUDIENT:  Yes, but how much is that?  I mean, how much do people usually pay?

And so on.  I don't give an advised price, because that seems to defeat the purpose - I might as well just say give me x and sell tickets.
Often people try to pay upfront.

AUDIENT:  Right, so you'll want money now?
ME:  No, after the show, when you can judge how much you think the show deserves.
AUDIENT:  Right.  Are you sure?

Yes, yes I am.  Partly because I'm confident that this show is a good 'un and that people are generally nice.  This has backfired only once, not because people stopped being nice but when a show went down... shall we say the reaction was mixed.  On that occasion I took half what I would normally take.  The part of me that has grown up in this consumer world was more hurt by this than the rather less black and white feedback after the show.
So, having done this one show for x number of performances, what is the average return?  To get down to brass tacks.  Well, it varies and it doesn't.  Individually the audience gives wildly different amounts of money - from a couple of quid, up to thirty/forty pounds in one instance.  However, the total take at the end of most shows is fairly consistent - regardless of the size of the house.
Everyman is a show designed for small audiences, it functions better when the house is small - but I always worry that this means I won't hit my budgeted return.  In this, I am proved relatively safe thanks to what I will call Price Elasticity of Audience Size.  I.e. The smaller the audience, the more they give.  Whether it's because they feel that I might be out of pocket because they are fewer, or because the show is more effective (both at times are true) the smaller audience almost always gives more.  If for the former reason then I feel bad, because they're giving money in the false understanding that I haven't budgeted for a low turn out (I have - all my shows are budgeted on the assumption that next to no one will turn up) or that they feel embarrassed in some way (again, a false position because the show functions best when there are fewer in the audience).
But they give, and I am thankful, because it does make a difference.
What is sadder is not that the smaller audience gives more for the wrong reasons, it's that the bigger audience gives demonstrably less for possibly even worse ones.  The show isn't necessarily much better or worse from their end (my preferences are my own) but they give less.  I maybe doing my audiences down but I suspect this is because the audience makes a calculation.  "There are more people, so he's getting enough money from them, so I don't need to give so much."
Both calculations are understandable, but they're also quite depressing - because the point of Pay-What-You-Want it's not about group-think haggling over price, it's about giving what you can afford, what you think the show is worth and what you want.  But I fear audiences are not giving what they want, they're reacting to the group, thinking about what everyone else is giving, treating the art on offer not as one person giving to another, but as a reaction to a marketplace - as if they were assessing share price in the stock market.  Are we all so infected with the consumer mindset that we can't disengage from it after an hour with a morality play?
Not all my shows are Pay-What-You-Want.  After 18 plus months playing with the format I've decided to use it for my solo work only.  Partly this is pragmatic - when hiring/working with others we do need a better baseline to work with and Pay-What-You-Want (though stable enough return wise from the audience) can be hit by bad weather conditions and failure to turn up even when seats are reserved.  The payment of a ticket in advance means a budget can be properly assessed and payments balanced as we go along, based on reliable data.
But my solo work will remain largely Pay-What-You-Want because I can - because I only need to pay myself and my expenses - and I'll continue trying to forge connections with my audience, one-to-one, so that they are free to give WHAT THEY WANT, rather than WHAT THEY THINK EVERYONE ELSE IS.

Then again, I could just be being really patronising and the bigger audiences just thought I was shit.

The final performance of The Summoning of Everyman is tonight in Stisted Village Hall - www.milkbottleproductions.co.uk for details.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Assington and other Adventures

I have to be frank and admit that the shows are all starting to blur into one.  That's why I haven't posted about the last few shows - I CAN'T STAND THE CONFUSION IN MY MIND!  The old gag about a rock group calling out the wrong name of the town they're in is very true.  Especially as there are only three village halls in the world.
Allow me to elaborate.
Type 1. Is an historic (i.e. usually pre-war) building which is idiosyncratic in it's design as well as in it's acoustic and thermal efficiency (i.e. it's a bloody weird shape, it echos like fuck and the heat goes straight out of the ceiling barely touching the audience.)
Type 2. Is post war, it's got a nice acoustic, a raised stage one end and has probably been updated at some point with mode cons, but still will have the odd party quirk.  Usually warm and inviting.
Type 3. Is a badminton bunker.  The ceiling is so high it has its own micro-climate, which means you can time the echo by clapping, going out for a pee, coming back in and finding the reverb is still enfolding you.
I, of course, exaggerate for comic effect.
The reverb is usually much longer than that.

Boxford - or is it Assington?
Assington - or is it Boxford?
The last show was in Assington, which confused my tiny little brain because the hall is almost exactly the same inside as Boxford.  Here are a couple of compare and contrast photos which don't quite do the similarities justice.
Regardless as to whether the hall at Assington was memorable, the audience certainly were - it was a great show and I enjoyed myself enormously (I can assume by comments the audience did too).

"Riveting - thank you"
"Excellent - Many Thanks."
"Thought provoking - well done!"

A vlog will follow sometime this weekend - featuring the winner of the best village hall toilet competition (so far).

Still not posting more Bad Deeds till the end of the run I'm afraid - but here's a selection of Good Deeds:
I gave Everyman some shirts. (as potential shirt of Bad Deeds replacements...)
Gave my work shift to a girl who was sulking at 'not being picked'
Night shift for Samaritans
Took a neighbour shopping.
Cut my ----- Grass (unclear whose grass)
Talking to a stranger
Help hover our car (very unclear - help holler our cat?)
Cooking someone a favourite treat
I write to my mum every week
Helping Stella
Supported the Arts
Told the truth to a friend who needed to hear it
Looking after friends child while they dealt with emergency
Walking the dog on Monday (corresponding Bad Deed - Not walking the dog on Tuesday!)
Opened up and cleared up round Village Hall
Help with R.D.A.
Pushing a car
Made a pie for friend.
Long term looking after Mother
Stopped singing to the the neighbours
Keeping Asbo the aggressive cockerel alive!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Eyes Have It

Somewhere within the bubble that is the world of touring the odd bit of news reaches me - for example, there's apparently an election going on, who'd have known?  One of these little tit bits was an article about looking up from your phones.  In this piece someone old who has a book/tv series etc to flog, posits that no one really looks at each other/things anymore because they're too busy looking at their phones or taking selfies to see anything.
I've recently got a relatively up-to-date smart phone and I do use it a lot, largely as an extension of my work.  I can post tweets and stuff to my followers, on the go - patchy Suffolk signal allowing.  Whilst I can attest that I do look down more often, I don't know that this necessarily affects the way I see the world.
For starters, I'm often reading an article about something whilst online.  An article about not looking at things because I'm looking at my phone, for example.  This is an activity I do anyway, though usually in analogue form - when I have a paper or a book on me - but then I'm probably too old to be using my phone for the activities this article probably decried anyway - selfies or sexting on the go whilst watching (rather than listening) to music on YouTube.
If the phone is doing anything that makes me less of a human being, it is probably connected to stress - as my work is already my life, it now follows me further and further into my day.  I check emails and social media far too often and, as I'm in the tail end of a tour, worry if I don't get x number of bookings by mid afternoon of a show day.  When the tour is over the off button will be an option again.
But all of the above is a preamble to an actual point, the point of this post.
People are funny about eye contact.  And I suspect they always were.
Let me explain.  As a storyteller I trade in eye contact.  It's how I tell my stories.  If I can't look at the audience it doesn't work.  Playing vaguely over the heads of the audience is really weird.  It's... well, it's just rude.  You can't pretend they're not there.  Actors, those who trade in talking to onstage people or cameras, do not always get this - they are often terrified of looking at the audience.
Everyman is not quite your standing actingy show - it's somewhere between acting in a play and storytelling.  The show functions because when I'm playing a character, I'm looking at the audience as if they were Everyman, as one end of a conversation.  When I talk to a volunteer who's with me on stage, I talk to them as though I were Everyman, and again, it's a conversation.  If you don't look at me, then it's weird.
And some people just won't.  They look down.  And it breaks my heart a bit.
I first noticed it as a problem when I started doing one-to-one storytelling, when I realised how many people HATED the idea of someone telling them a story direct.  I assumed that it would be a nice novelty, that people would jump at the chance to be told a story, like a child at bedtime, perhaps.  I was being interviewed on the radio about a show called Problem Tree and the presenter (live on air, to my immense anger) said how horrible to must be for the audient and that she'd hate to go to the show.
And so the reaction remained - whenever I spoke about the show, everyone said it sounded really uncomfortable and somehow indecent.  And even when I had dozens of people coming out afterwards, raving about the piece - it remains one of my favourites - no amount of ecstatic reporting could get people to come who hadn't already dismissed the show.  Because I looked at them.
With the Everyman show, the people who don't look are those sitting as audience members - when people want to be distant and presented with a spectacle.  They look at the floor or close their eyes and listen.  When storytelling you learn quickly that some people like to close their eyes and listen - and for a biggish audience, that's mostly fine.  (You learn the difference between those who are listening and those who are asleep.)  Again, it's a bit sad, but it's not the end of the world.
But with Everyman it's different.  The play as I perform it is closer to ritual.  It's about connection and it's about looking and sharing, and when people don't play - then I have no where to go.  It is easy in a play where you are play a part and reacting to others on stage to find the emotion and the story and to feel and emote appropriately.  When you're jumping from one person to another in seconds, as I am in Everyman, it's far harder to keep that going.  It becomes harder to react genuinely and not over or under act, to force something for effect.
The eyes have it, the eyes make the show.
So, what has this to do with phones and selfies and the lack of communication between human and human?  Bugger all, so far as I can tell.  It's almost always the older audience members who won't look, not the teenager locked to their phones.  Perhaps, because they spend so much time looking down into blank screens, when they're offered eye contact they gorge on it like a gatecrasher at a wake.

***
I'm about to set off for Assington for tonight's show.  Proper updates about the last couple of shows will follow this weekend...

The Summoning of Everyman: Touring April 2015
All shows will be Pay-What-You-Want and tickets can be reserved by phone or online.

Assington Village Hall                                -              Thursday 9th April at 7.30pm
Brettenham Village Hall                             -              Tuesday 14th April at 7.30pm
Steeple Bumpstead Village Hall                 -              Wednesday 15th April at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Chilton                         -              Sunday 19th April at 3pm
Boxted & Hartest Institute                         -              Monday 20th April at 7.30pm
Stisted Village Hall                                    -              Wednesday 22nd April at 7.30pm

All details correct at time of press – updates, corrections and directions to shows can be found online – or contact us direct.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Leaving Leavenheath

I'm halfway there!  Last evenings performance was the eighth in the official tour, with eight to go.
A lovely audience in Leavenheath for the Easter Sunday show.  It was a bit of a gamble, whether we would get an audience at all, but as it happened it was a good solid house - much better than Good Friday, which was a little quiet.  Now it's a question of how many people we will get for tonight's Easter Monday showing in Hundon - another gamble.  Will it pay off?  We shall see.

"Made us all think over Easter - most wonderful timing! Thank you."
"An amazing play - it makes you think about the rest of your life."
"A wonderful revelation - particularly on Easter Sunday."


I have just edited a video for you today (above) - and I thought I'd embed the full playlist of the vlogs so far in order of height... (below)


More excitement from the world of wall mounted heaters...

Funny story, this heater didn't work at first... oh, sorry,
I meant to write 'dull story'. My bad.
The Summoning of Everyman: Touring April 2015
All shows will be Pay-What-You-Want and tickets can be reserved by phone or online.
Telephone: 07946 652 196
Email: contact@milkbottleproductions.co.uk
For emails or any phone messages please state your name, contact number, number of tickets and, most importantly, which date/venue you're booking for.

Hundon Village Hall                                   -              Monday 6th April at 7.30pm
Creeting St Mary Jubilee Hall                     -              Tuesday 7th April at 7.30pm
Assington Village Hall                                -              Thursday 9th April at 7.30pm
Brettenham Village Hall                             -              Tuesday 14th April at 7.30pm
Steeple Bumpstead Village Hall                 -              Wednesday 15th April at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Chilton                         -              Sunday 19th April at 3pm
Boxted & Hartest Institute                         -              Monday 20th April at 7.30pm
Stisted Village Hall                                    -              Wednesday 22nd April at 7.30pm

All details correct at time of press – updates, corrections and directions to shows can be found online – or contact us direct.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Initial Analysis of Good and Bad Deeds

Word Cloud of the Good Deeds of Everyman
Time for some initial analysis of the Good and Bad Deeds presented by Everyman audiences.  The data set is incomplete at the moment, as there are more Bad Deeds as yet not inputted - and there's more sifting of categories and placement.  Some answers cross over a number of Good and Bad Deeds and some are just unclassifiable - and this isn't a full survey - we're only asking people to name one Good and Bad Deed and not a number of them, ranked in order of severity - and people forget or deny their deeds - but I think we can identify some trends.

Good Deeds
Saving a Life, Helping Animals and Patience with Idiots all came in at 3% each.
Smiling as a Good Deed comes in at 5% (Which is a very interesting quirk - because is smiling a good deed, or even necessarily a good thing?)
Lots of people stated inner aims as Good Deeds - almost aspirations, rather than active Good Deeds (thinking well of others, trying not to be selfish etc) - these came in at a joint 6% along with classifiable abstract or joke responses, as well as Caring for the Sick.
Volunteering or Charity Work - 9%
Donating Money or Goods - 14% 
But, by far the most common were Little Kindnesses at 45% - many of which involve Wheelie bins.

Word Cloud of the Bad Deeds of Everyman -
a few slightly random words, isolated from context,
raise more questions than answers...
Bad Deeds are easier to classify - fitting into the classic seven deadly sins, or into a 'Thou Shalt Not' Commandment.  By and large we admit to violent thoughts or deeds, accompanied with a fair amount of lying and cheating.  On the plus side, Pride, classically the worse sin, isn't in much evidence. (Though you could argue that by writing a Good Deed you are giving into Pride - the list of Good Deeds can feel uncomfortably like bragging at times, but that can't be helped because of the nature of the exercise.  It would be different if I only asked for a Bad Deed and people insisted on telling me their virtues.  By and large the audiences have struggled to think of a Good Deed and struggled to choose a Bad Deed, which either suggests we're all hopeless sinners, or that we're simply more aware of doing harm and dismiss our basic niceness.  I prefer the latter assumption, it's less judgemental.)

Pride                            3%
Lechery                        9%
Sloth                            10%
Gluttony                       13%
Theft                            14%
Lying & Cheating          23%

Wrath                           28%

The Summoning of Everyman: Touring April 2015
All shows will be Pay-What-You-Want and tickets can be reserved by phone or online.

Leavenheath Village Hall                            -              Sunday 5th April at 6pm
Hundon Village Hall                                   -              Monday 6th April at 7.30pm
Creeting St Mary Jubilee Hall                     -              Tuesday 7th April at 7.30pm
Assington Village Hall                                -              Thursday 9th April at 7.30pm
Brettenham Village Hall                             -              Tuesday 14th April at 7.30pm
Steeple Bumpstead Village Hall                 -              Wednesday 15th April at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Chilton                         -              Sunday 19th April at 3pm
Boxted & Hartest Institute                         -              Monday 20th April at 7.30pm
Stisted Village Hall                                    -              Wednesday 22nd April at 7.30pm

All details correct at time of press – updates, corrections and directions to shows can be found online – or contact us direct.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

In Between Everyman

It's a day off from the tour.  No show tonight, just lots of admin to do.  I'm currently editing lots of audio and video material for the tour, and trying to do some writing as well - though that's not really happening.
There are only nine more chances to see the show over the next few weeks - remember that Sunday in Leavenheath starts at 6pm!
So, here's a short video of a few moments from the last few shows - including the moment where the heating cut out in Cavendish...


The Summoning of Everyman Tour - April 2015
All shows will be Pay-What-You-Want and tickets can be reserved by phone or online.
Telephone: 07946 652 196
Email: contact@milkbottleproductions.co.uk
For emails or any phone messages please state your name, contact number, number of tickets and, most importantly, which date/venue you're booking for.

Leavenheath Village Hall                            -              Sunday 5th April at 6pm
Hundon Village Hall                                   -              Monday 6th April at 7.30pm
Creeting St Mary Jubilee Hall                     -              Tuesday 7th April at 7.30pm
Assington Village Hall                                -              Thursday 9th April at 7.30pm
Brettenham Village Hall                             -              Tuesday 14th April at 7.30pm
Steeple Bumpstead Village Hall                 -              Wednesday 15th April at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Chilton                         -              Sunday 19th April at 3pm
Boxted & Hartest Institute                         -              Monday 20th April at 7.30pm


Stisted Village Hall                                    -              Wednesday 22nd April at 7.30pm

Friday, 3 April 2015

Hitching to Hitcham

After the first show in Offton I decided to only put out one row to start with -
so that it's full. I add more as the audience arrive.
Well, I didn't actually hitchhike to Hitcham, that would just be silly - it's just a nice post title.  Brief update, as I recorded a lot of footage last night which is taking an age to upload so no video yet.
Lovely venue Hitcham - by God is the heating good - and once I realised the odd banging noise was a couple of boys playing football round the back (I asked nicely if they could play further off and they were most pleasant about it - well brought up the youth of Hitcham) all was set up nice and easy.  Not many people from Hitcham in the audience itself though. Perhaps they were all watching the election debate - which I caught the tail end of on Twitter.  I think everyone lost, except the heckler, who will be forming a minority government.

No Bad Deeds for a while till I archive the shirt, so just a selection of Good Deeds for you...

Cleared a neighbour's wind-blown refuse from her front garden.
Comply with ---- processes ?? (unclear handwriting)
Nursed my son today
Taught my friends pupils for her when she was ill
Sorted my sisters phone out
Organised kids events
Looking after friends dog at her house.
Drink too little.
Fixed a ladies window blinds after they had fallen down
Taking flowers to a neighbour who had had bad news
Empowering others
Showing patience when taking my 96 year old father shopping

The Summoning of Everyman Tours March / April 2015
All shows will be Pay-What-You-Want and tickets can be reserved by phone or online.
Telephone: 07946 652 196
Email: contact@milkbottleproductions.co.uk
For emails or any phone messages please state your name, contact number, number of tickets and, most importantly, which date/venue you're booking for.

Maurice Rowson Hall, Gosfield                  -              Friday 3rd April at 7.30pm
Leavenheath Village Hall                            -              Sunday 5th April at 6pm
Hundon Village Hall                                   -              Monday 6th April at 7.30pm
Creeting St Mary Jubilee Hall                     -              Tuesday 7th April at 7.30pm
Assington Village Hall                                -              Thursday 9th April at 7.30pm
Brettenham Village Hall                             -              Tuesday 14th April at 7.30pm
Steeple Bumpstead Village Hall                 -              Wednesday 15th April at 7.30pm
St Mary’s Church, Chilton                         -              Sunday 19th April at 3pm
Boxted & Hartest Institute                         -              Monday 20th April at 7.30pm
Stisted Village Hall                                    -              Wednesday 22nd April at 7.30pm

All details correct at time of press – updates, corrections and directions to shows can be found online – or contact us direct.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Cavendish Calling

I really had fun this evening.  It was one of those performances that clicked.  It could have easily not done - as a few things conspired against me.  Or rather these things did.

Wall mounted heaters...
The heating.  It was a surprisingly cold day and the Cavendish Memorial Hall is many things (nice design, good atmosphere) but thermally efficient it isn't.  But I knew this and so left in good time to get the heating on early.
Cavendish Memorial Hall - all cleared away...
When I had a look round the space I was shown all the secrets - one of which is that the heating is powered by coin metres.  So, I'd sad to myself the other day - make sure you've got plenty of pound coins.  Which I did.  I loaded up my wallet with them earlier in the day.
What I forgot to do was then put my wallet in my pocket.  It was only when I was half way to Cavendish that I realised why my jacket felt a bit light.  Quick u-turn and much swearing later I was able to pick the key up only a little bit later than planned.
Then I realised that I didn't know precisely how long a pound in the metre would last.  An hour - more - less?  This was a problem, because if I got it wrong it could conk out in the middle of the show and freeze everyone to death.
Which it nearly.  Luckily, it conked out just as I was starting.  30 seconds later and the evening could have been ruined.  As it was I could rush up to feed a few more coins in.

And then the show - which felt really strong.  I felt on form.  But, of course, I could be delusional - here's what the audience said.

Audience comments: 
"Great one man show!"
"Thought provoking - thank you."
"Totally memorable! Thank you."