First Night

Hell’s Teeth, why can’t shows open on the second night? I’d totally forgotten how terrifying first nights are.

Thinking back, Be Proud Of Me opened in Frankfurt, well away from anyone we actually knew. Frankfurt’s great but if the show had been a disaster and we’d never been able to set foot in the city again we could have coped. Before that Lurid and Insane opened in a farmer’s barn somewhere in the Lancastrian countryside and the setting meant the first night was more exhilarating than terrifying. We have to go back to 2000 and Good and True for the last first night like last nights first night.

A World Premiere is the kind of tantalising bait you have to use to lure in important people who would never normally see your show, yet a World Premiere this is when you are at your most vulnerable. You’ve only just finished making the show, everyone’s exhausted, the performers are terrified they’re going to forget their lines and demolish the furniture; no one knows how the audience will respond or how to modulate the show to take that response into account, it’s a nightmare

As it turns out last night was fine. The cast did mighty job. There was a lot of tension in the performances and they looked tired going into the final third, like prize fighters dead on their feet but still slugging it out from the eight round, but were magnificent, I am in awe of them. They’ll have a good rest today, a few notes, a line run and be back again tonight to start exploring Home Of The Wriggler.


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