Day 6. The Verdict.

The sun has set on my time in Morecambe. Day 6 was full. The four performers rocked up so that was a relief after a struggle to peel myself out of bed after my alarm went off for the 57th time. I was tempted to send a text to Lenny saying I had family issues and a stomach ache so I could spend the morning in bed followed by a trip to Blackpool pleasure beach to get a piercing (don’t ask) but instead I let the lovely Bob and Peter at the homely Bare Lane B&B make me breakfast and send me off to finish the job I’d started.

After conversations about costumes I had asked the girls earlier in the week to bring in a selection of black clothes, which they didn’t manage to do until the day of the show because you know how it is when you lead a busy life (Sorry… why was it that you couldn’t bring them in? oh you just forgot. No that’s absolutely fine! In your own time. I mean honestly no rush just whenever you happen to feel ready) so when they eventually got round to it, on the day of the show, I asked them to go and get into their performance clothes so I could see them together. Now I’m not quite sure where in my instructions the message was confused but one of them must have heard me say at some point ‘please can you bring in your sister’s ridiculous Halloween costume with the spider web sleeves’ which, I don’t think I’m being unfair when I say, did not fit in at all. Unfortunately for her, we didn’t have time to scrap everything and do the Rocky Horror Picture Show instead, so we bought her some leggings.
They worked hard (if a little impatiently) but to get the most out of them I needed to occasionally let one song of their choice through the speakers for them to collectively screech along to, and also remind them that they only have to put up with me for one more day (which worked a bit too well).
After worries of incoherence from the day before, the show started to come together nicely when we managed to find subtle ways to weave the material together, forming an almost surprisingly narrative thread that started with murder mysteries and ended with autobiographical texts, with some moments of (not much) movement in between. I was quite shocked by this because it’s what I had least confidence about, I think I tend to focus more on details of performance when I make a show so I was almost expecting to fail at pulling that off on my own. It was amazing to see how far the group had come in a week. On the first day not one of them could be in front of an audience on their own, as themselves or even still for more than 45 seconds, and then six days later there they were pulling off a 30 minute (ish) contemporary performance that involved moments of stillness, a neutral presence and no giggling at each other as if an audience can’t see everything that is happening on a stage right in front of them.
I felt both nervous and proud as I watched the show from behind my laptop, trying to balance successfully operating the sound with watching their performance and listening to the audience. They seemed to enjoy performing it. The audience seemed to enjoy watching.
I’ve really enjoyed the project. I couldn’t have done it without Lenny who must have found it exhausting to go from spending two hours a week with them to six and a half hours every day. He does a fantastic job, I have learnt a lot from him and really enjoyed his company.
So here I am back in Manchester for seven whole hours to rotate the clothes in my bag and write this blog post before I leave for Nottingham to meet Michael at the station. We’re off to Colchester this week to perform The Beginning. Gear change.
I’d like to leave you with a song from the show and some photos. Thank you for reading the blog post/s, I’ve enjoyed writing them.

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