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You may, or may not, have wondered how it ended with the Centipede

I’haven’t murdered him – but it was a close thing. I know I ended the other post on a hopeful note, saying that we’d stopped hating each other, that things were beginning to work, that perhaps, perhaps…

Actually, no.

He ruined my Nicholas Nickleby moment...

He ruined my Nicholas Nickleby moment…

Things seemed to be getting better for a while, and the Director was rather happy with me, and we all felt a little relieved. And perhaps the mistake was in letting the Centipede know of the company’s collective rosier outlook, because I can only imagine that, once we stopped scowling at the very mention of the boy’s name, he must have thought he’d done enough. So the brainless creature started missing rehearsals and training session – when it was too late to replace him.

He even appeared unforgivably late for dress rehearsal, and then disappeared again before we could start his final drilling – because he had another engagement. He even had the gall to tell the Director that hey, it was just seven lines, for crying out loud…

Which is where we should have sent him to Jericho, shared out his lines, and good riddance. But we didn’t – and paid for it. In the end, he missed two cues out of seven (bless the quick-thinking souls who filled in), messed up his and everyone else’s blocking like mad, stepped into a dance sequence he didn’t belong to and butchered it…

I was manning the lights consolle during all that – and pittikins, it was a blood-curdling experience just to watch. I can’t imagine what it must have been onstage and backstage. Or rather, I can – because I heard it all at the after-show dinner. The Centipede wasn’t there – or anywhere around us, since, which goes to show he is possessed of some survival instinct, if nothing else.

I’ve crossed him twice in town, after the debacle, and found him very careful in avoiding me…

What’s the bottom line of this story? Very likely that there is only so much one can expect even from the magic of theatre. Miracles don’t happen – unless everyone involved works very hard to make them happen. And it was clearly not the case with this Centipede.

I don’t know what the Centipede’s theatrical future will be – either with “my” company or elsewhere.  As far as I’m concerned, he can stay in the ditch and flail all he likes: it’s nice not to have committed a murder, after all, but I am most certainly never wasting any more time and energy on him.