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Blog: Dress Rehearsal

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Thursday night found me heading out to Canary Wharf AKA "Toytown" (according to The Words In My Sentence) AKA "TORCHWOOD" (according to Doctor Who) AKA "Unsignposted NIGHTMARE" (according to me), where I arrived to find NO appropriate signage or MAPS and got hopelessly lost! Lots of nice people stopped to give me directions, but it all looks very very similar, especially in the dark, so it took me AGES to get to where I was going.

(SIDEBAR: it actually reminded me very strongly of PARIS, specifically of the suburbs of Paris one night in 1989 when me and two pals did a Sponsored Jail Break from School, and got a) ridiculously far b) HOPELESSLY LOST. It was an experience that lasted less than 24 hours but is clearly INDELIBLY engraved in my BRANE!)

Anyway, eventually I DID get to where I was going, which was the new home of 'Theatre Delicatessen'. These are the rehearsal rooms that used to be based in the old Guardian Building in Farringdon, where Mr S Hewitt and I rehearsed a lot of Hey Hey 16K and where Mr J Dredge and I filmed a lot of our videos. It's now based in a DIFFERENT set of unused offices, which seems to me to be a very sensible use of empty premises!

I found my way upstairs to discover the CAST of the new Lost City Writers play All In The Same Boat. For LO! That was what I was there for - the DRESS REHEARSAL of the show which is, at time of writing, on TONIGHT!

I hadn't actually met anybody before, but I HAD spent several hours with their FACES when I was putting together the programme, which is always a bit of an odd feeling. When I did my MA I was told that when attending rehearsals it is best for The Writer to sit quietly in the corner and let everybody else get on with it, so that is exactly what I did. I sat in the WRONG corner to start with - the stage set-up is at 90 degrees to how i'd imagined it, which turns out to be BETTER - so shuffled over and then found myself basically sitting at the FEET of the actors for large portions of the performance. It's almost as if I don't have much practice of sitting quietly in corners.

The show itself was FANTASTIC. It's WEIRD when you see something you've written being done by other people, especially when you've had no input in the rehearsal process. At first I noticed all the bits done differently to how I'd expected, but very very quickly I forgot all that and just enjoyed it - I LARFED several times and shed a couple of manly tears too, even though I had read the whole thing loads of times and TALKED about it for months. This, I feel, is a very very good sign.

At the end, when Natalie The Director gave NOTES, I must admit I struggled with the whole Keeping Quiet thing, as I was DESPERATE to go "OH MY LAWKS THAT WAS BRILLIANT!" I managed to hold it in though, only once saying "OH BLIMEY!" out loud when they talked about the remains of the parrot, and then at the end saying "THAT WAS ACE YOU GUYS!" as I left.

I then pretty much SKIPPED home - like most of the planet I'd had an attack of the GLUMS since the US Election, but this had cheered me RIGHT up. I mean, I know that our play about refugees throughout history may NOT put right everything that's happened this week, but it didn't half make me happy. If you're about in That London this weekend I would HIGHLY recommend coming - it's on at The Oxford House in Bethnal Green on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 November, and you can find full details and tickets here.

Come! It'll be GRATE!

posted 11/11/2016 by MJ Hibbett

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