Panto, Day 1
Set my alarm for 6am but I needn’t have bothered. I was woken by an SMS buzzing into my cell phone at 5.45. My producer was already up and finding things to worry about.
A slow start, caused by the thick fog that wrapped itself around Venice before daybreak. Frank Transport, aka Frankie Fleeceham the Bailiff, had to cross the perilous Giudecca Canal in his little boat in zero visibility. Thank God it wasn’t the cruise season when those 12 storey behemoths sail into the maritime station first thing in the morning.
It then turned out that tha aimiable Paolo, who looks after the theatre, doesn’t know much about the light switches. It was klieg lights or darkness.
A typical first day in many respects. Actors still clinging to their scripts (today they have to go cold turkey) and everyone wanting to be the director. But there were some sublime moments too. It’s already apparent that the Bailffs’ Tango is going to go down well. And when the Juniors came in for their first rehearsal last evening their faces, when they saw the sets, the horses and carriage, and the Ugly Sisters practicing their minuet, made all the pain worthwhile. They were enchanted. I have a sore throat. Uh-oh. But the good news is, Friday’s show is already sold out. Okay, it’s a small theatre, but sold out is sold out. My first box office hit…
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