So – are we back yet?
A little hard to tell. I mean, theatres are opening again next week. Opening with all sorts of restrictions, as was to be expected – like playing with gloves whenever there are props to be touched, and masks when the actors need to go near each other, and keeping safe distances in the audience, and onstage, and backstage… As I said, nothing truly unexpected, but it will be hard to get used to…
Nina, our artistic director, calls it a new adventure. Challenge is the word that rather springs to mind, if you ask me – but then, what is theatre, besides and endless string of challenges?
So – we’re back?
Well, of course it is the middle of June, and our poor standard season crumbled to nothing months ago, so it’s not as though we could resume where we’d stopped. We’re having something of a summer season, though. Ten nights of dramatic readings between July and August. Cautious open air affairs in the beautiful Neoclassical courtyard next door to the Tiny Theatre, with a maximum of five readers, virtually tied to their reading stands… and an audience of sixty – where the courtyard, in past summers, could easily sit three-hundred. Oh, no raised eyebrows, please. We know, we know – but we’ve been dreaming about this for months, endlessly made and changed plans, arranged it carefully. We’re still working hard on it. We’re having – I kid you not – rehearsals on Zoom! It’s quite, quite far from the sort of things we used to have. It’s the best we can have now, though – and while right now it all seems a jumble of unlikelihoods, restrictions, and second-bests, I rather think it will be its own happiness by the time we get there.
And afterwards… Oh, it all will be ten times as hard when we move back inside, and we’ll have to navigate the intricacies of Anti-Covid Measures in our rather cramped spaces… But we’ll make it, somehow. We will.
Because in truth, we’re not back, not yet – but we are most definitely getting there.