Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Buxton Blog - 19/8, a day of Pickfords

As I said before Dave G and I made ourselves a date for 9am on the day after the cast party. Whose idea was that? It was forced on us by the fact that both Dave and Andrew were leaving Buxton at noon. What to do about the fact that the paperwork couldn't possibly be done in time? Good question.

So we assessed our position with regard to the crate the set came over in. Contrary to initial estimates we didn't have a missing side piece, we had a missing end piece and a side piece cut to nearly the size of an end piece. So even after Neil brought us the promised replacement timber for the side piece we had to kitbash the remains of the old side piece to make an end piece out of it. Confused? So were we.

But anyway, at about 10:30 we had the crate ready to fill. By this time Ron and Robert were there as well, and between us all we got it packed and sealed by about 11am. There was still no paperwork. "Thank you Michael!" said Dave. "What for?" I asked suspiciously. "For what you're about to do" he replied. "It is then as I feared", I said (aside of course). "You're going to fill in the manifest and customs documents. I'll get Steve Hodge to email you the details."

Well I guess that was the only logical thing to do - we're the only company members who will still be here when the crate has to go, and I've filled out so many customs declarations in my time you'd get a stiff arm in sympathy if I told you. None of them have been for two tons of theatre set but hopefully the details are pretty much the same...

And so back home. Hey, the pros are in tonight - Utopia! Should be utterly amazing. But more to the point, let's help them bump in and all that.

3pm-ish, what to do now? Straighten my spine out. On my bed. With my eyes shut.

7pm - Off we go to Utopia-land! We want to be Utopian if you'll only show us how! It's so grand to be Utopian in 1910! This is only the third professional production of Utopia. Ever.

Chris's blog hardly does justice to the show. His "template" for a review is so careful to be kind to mediocre shows that it doesn't have room to rave about outstanding ones. Well this one was outstanding. How does a company manage to assemble a dozen patter singers of a quality seen in only three people in the whole of Melbourne?

It's obviously a "big budget" show - the costumes are amazing, as are the special effects (particularly by the Public Exploder), there's lots of light, the set is a work of art, and the makeup is stunning. The cast are outstanding - not only did they manage to learn Utopia in a week (no mean feat in itself) but they executed the most complicated stage business with perfect precision. The perfect grand finale to the festival! Definitely one to get a DVD of.

Festival club of course - Jackie Mitchell is there for the first time since Utopia rehearsals started. So of course we were able to tell her how wonderful she was. And walk her home at the end of course. Instead of a cabaret we had a pot-luck Pirates, starring Chris as the PK and Jamie as Samuel. Also Anna (one of the volunteer costume assistants for the pro company) as Ruth. That was good fun. I filled a 2GB memory card with video of them...

I can't believe this festival is nearly over.

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