Today the future of our pantomime hangs in the balance and with it more than a year of hard work. With only three weeks to go to Curtain Up a bureaucrat at Ca Foscari University, from whom we rent the auditorium, has decided that our application failed to comply with the regulations. No matter that this would be our third time of using the auditorium, so far without a hitch, no matter that they have previously been very happy to accept our hard-earned money, no matter that this is a show we put on to raise money for a charity. Right now, all bets are off.
This, of course, is what bureaucrats do. When you’re a nine-to-fiver, shuffling papers and bearing no personal responsibility for delays or errors, raising an obstacle is about as creative as you can get. I know because I was once a bureaucrat myself. And I’ll confess that it used to bring a little pleasure to my dreary day to throw a form back at a solicitor’s clerk and say, ‘Take it away, you illiterate chancer, and try again.’ Maybe this is payback time.
So, on a day when I had planned to paint Cinderella’s carriage and put the finishing touches to the horses’ harnesses, I find I don’t have the heart. But neither am I waiting by the phone. I realise it’s perfectly possible for a bureaucrat to close her office for ten days and leave petitioners swinging in the breeze. Also, I figure news, good or bad, will come and find me.
Laurie Graham is leaving the building.