Dropped Balls


As I always tell friends who are thinking of blogging, if you’re going to do it you have to post regularly. There’s no faster way to lose readers than leaving them dangling for weeks. So, Laurie Graham, what’s your excuse?

Well, m’Lud, I plead extraordinary pressure of work. Plus a hole in the roof, directly over my desk, just when Mr Roof Repair Man is in Tenerife catching a few well-deserved rays. It never rains etc. etc, an expression particularly apposite in this sodden isle. I’ve solved the desk situation by transferring my laptop to Mission Control, aka The Kitchen.  I may even leave it there. It’s much handier for the kettle.

The pressure of work scenario is entirely of my own creation. First, in anticipation of my absence on pantomime duty, I promised my editor first draft by next Monday. It seemed achievable. Until I started reading and doing a little tidying up when I discovered a whopping time-line gaffe that can only be fixed by a 5000 word rewrite. Can I do it? Probably not by Monday? Is it the end of the world? No. But it would have been nice to lob the manuscript someone else’s side of the net for a couple of weeks. Ah well.

Meanwhile, in Panto Land we’ve had an unprecedented run of mishaps. Three roles have had to be recast and two others still hang by a thread. People can be wonderful. They step up and help out even when they’d actually rather have root canal.  Nevertheless I wake in the night and hear the sound of barrels being scraped. I’m starting to dread the plink of new mail into my mailbox. What next? The theatre under water? Okay, we’ll just bung in a bit of synchronised swimming.

But, as above, I have no-one to blame but myself. I started this panto thing all those years ago. I performed CPR on it on more than one occasion when wiser heads might have allowed it to expire. And it was I who pledged to do one last production before I hand over to someone younger and less battle-worn. The show goes on. It has to. Fans have checked in online for their flights. We  already have two full houses. So, I’ve started packing my bag. Aspirin, throat lozenges, cow hooves, straightjacket, more aspirin.

The curtain rises two weeks tomorrow. Well it would if we had a curtain.

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