Early morning walk (because I truly am that good… if only once in a blue moon)
Rush to town
A gazilion small things (“Since you’re going to town anyway…”)
Home and the quickest lunch ever
The images – oh Lord, the images! (Because I did have them all but ready – but then lightning struck, and I changed them all, and had to begin again from scratch, and this one is much better, and… and… and…)
A cup of tea
Lightning strikes again – in the form of a new and better way to drape a four meter long strip of grey-black gauze around a Damned Soul, so that said soul can move around with a decent hope of not endangering anyone’s life.
More images – while having a call with the sound techie about sound tracks n. 6 and n. 14. Yes, I know it sounds strange-ish, but that’s exactly how I want it…
A frantic Whatsapp exchange about a last-second rehearsal
Putting together a little bag for myself – so I can change between the last-second rehearsal and the show…
A cup of tea
A phone call – so that I manage to leave late…
Some creative driving to get in town just in the nick of time
More frantic Whatsapping – because the core message obviously didn’t go through earlier…
Minding the techies as they mount the microphones
The last rehearsal we spoke of – with Charon missing, Cerberus in one of his lazier moods, and the Damned Souls still alarmingly hazy about their blocking. Oh Lord. “Couldn’t we do it again?” asks one of the Furies – and no, we can’t.
Discussing lights and image projection with our Lights man – who is a pet, and always says “We can try” to whatever outlandish things I ask… Meanwhile, he is also trying to fix a hitch with the projector – so I’m not even sure he is listening to me with more than half an ear…
Sending off the Damned Souls as they arrive in turn to wail that they must dress, and the seamstress wants me there to see to the draping, and can’t I please go – and by the way, where do they come in exactly, and is Dina to move right on line 34 or 35…?
“Uh… yes – but you’ll be sitting here, and call the light changes, won’t you?”
Rushing to swathe the Damned Souls in grey-black gauze, and swathing one – and the seamstress pinning it all up with a dozen safety pins – and swathing a second, and hoping that the others and the seamstress have seen how it works, and no, swathing a third, and pleasepleaseplease, can I stay in the wings, and direct the Souls from there?
Herding the Souls out of sight – because the doors are open, and the audience will be in in a moment…
My kingdom for a cup of tea! (But no, of course…)
Where on earth am I, and they want me at the lighting board. On the double!
Back to swathe the fourth Soul – and I must say, from a distance they do look eerie…
Sneaking away to… you know, change, and putting on the most basic make-up–
Where, oh where in the world am I, and why did I abandon my Damned Souls, and why didn’t I swathe the fifth one, and where exactly do they glide on line 126, and I am staying in the wings, right? Right?
Grabbing Dado, shoving my annotated script at him, and ordering him to stay in the wings in my place. (He points out they won’t be able to see him in the half dark, with gauze over their faces, and half across the very large stage… I say that I know – just please don’t tell them.)
Getting grabbed by Nina – because it’s time, it’s time, it’s time! Oh Spirit of the Bard help me…
Skidding, a little breathlessly, to sit at the lighting board, and… “Look, we couldn’t quite fix the projector. It will likely behave – just don’t freak out if something happens…”
And then… cue music, lights, the Souls approaching the stage through the audience, and Dante’s poetry – and, would you believe it? A genuine lightning storm right behind the stage – our own serendipitous special FX!
So after all it went wonderfully. The readers were perfect, the music, images and lights worked like a charm, the damned souls messed up the smallest bit – but in such a way that it all seemed deliberate, and good to look at. It was all lovely to hear and to see, unbelievably eerie and atmospheric, and I’m told that a couple of audience members even fled because they found it so disturbing – which is… well now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sorry I upset them – but truly: Divine Monsters worked! If I was aiming for efficacy (and I always am), one’d say I got it right.