The Avogaria is a darling little theatre run by people who love what they do. We came upon it in a moment of great need (i.e, having been bumped by our original venue ten days before opening, in favour of a more lucrative deal that had come their way.) But Teatro Avogaria took us in. They were and are a joy to work with.
One of this theatre’s idiosyncracies is its invisibility. The stage door looks like the entrance to someone’s house. The public entrance… well, you have to be really determined to find that. It’s round the back and some, which is why you need A-boards and crew to light the way with lanterns if your audience are ever to take their seats. Another oddity is that there’s no Stage Right entrance. Therefore, to relieve the monotony of everyone appearing from Stage Left, I now write in several entrances from the rear of the auditorium, that is to say through the public entrance. And thereby hangs my worry.
In 2010, a couple of late arrivals slipped in quietly and, unnoticed by the stewards, very thoughtfully pulled the doors closed behind them. Some time later Prince Charming and his faithful steward, Laurie Dandini Graham, arrived to make their entrance and found themselves locked out. We tried knocking politely, we tried knocking forcefully. We thought of phoning the Stage Manager but neither of us had a mobile about our person. We had no choice but to hammer, kick and yell, ‘open this fecking door’. Which someone did. Just in the nick.
So I suppose now I should add ‘doorstop’ to my list of essential equipment.
I thought anyway I should leave the last word on being stranded out in the cold to dear Ethel Zimmerman. Heart of a lioness, voice like a band saw.
That’s all folks!