He’s making a list, and checking it twice

You get the feeling that whatever goes wrong with Bernard’s puppet show, it’s not for want of planning. He’s got it all organised down to the nth degree. Unfortunately it’s the people who let him down – they’re not so controllable as the puppets. And when you’ve got Harvey poking fun at you the whole time into the bargain – well, it’s not for the fainthearted.

Steve must have found himself in total sympathy with his character tonight, doggedly carrying on in the face of considerable difficulty with stand-in helpers doing their best among collapsing scenery and constant requests from the director to “do that bit again please”. It was an evening of nit picking to get words and timing right, not to mention getting puppets as well as people in the right place at the right time.

Tonight the plan was to do the whole of scene 4, as we’d cut fairly large sections of it on Tuesday because so many people couldn’t be at rehearsal. Unfortunately tonight wasn’t any better, with only five of my nine cast there. We carried on regardless, but it was tough going. This is where a producer comes in useful – Martin got the Oscar for best supporting actor tonight, reading in for three people as well as making the tea. Not bad for a lighting techie! He wasn’t alone in demonstrating the Dunkirk spirit – various other people stepped in to read for absent colleagues, often without my having to ask. Thanks, guys, you’re all treasures. What a team. Let’s hope for more people next week.

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