I am driving to G’town on Sunday and will start my marathon of live performance ‘watch and crit’ on Monday, but my OF (old friend) Simon Cooper has a head start and a heads up so he’ll be hijacking meganshead for the next few days and giving us a piece of simonshead; his view of the fest. Here is his producer’s POV of the day before it opens.
It used to be so easy – pitch up, settle in, have a few glasses of decent wine, sleep a bit and hit the first show.Â Didn’t appreciate the work that performers, techies, producers and a host of others were doing so that when you did pitch at 10h00 on day 1, there is a show to watch.Â Â Have learnt the lesson in the last few years though.Â Â But, man, the adrenalin does course through your veins – OK, OK it’s a lot of detail but there it is, it gets to me.
So what does a producer’s day before the Fest look like, well –
get up quite early and clean incoming emails off your machine;
pack a bag full of props, advertising material [press kits, cable ties, roses for “ROSE” with labels, business cards for “LONDON ROAD”, bookmarks also] and NAF info etc;
make sure the visiting actress [Fiona York from “ROSE”] who is staying with us, is ready to go and move into her Grahamstown accommodation;
drive to Grahamstown [no hangover because Shirley Kirchmann bailed from supper last night];
drop off tickets for “LONDON ROAD” with a friend – paying a debt for earlier house checking services;
take Fiona to the house and to her venue;
contact Jon K and Juanita F, stage managers for “LONDON ROAD” and “ROSE”;
meet up with them and get road signs from Jon K and leave Juanita F and Fiona to get to know each other and sort out “ROSE”;
find Dumisani and give him the road signs and the cable ties to put up but he’s not answering his phone;
go to the Monument – register “LONDON ROAD” and “ROSE”, see the finance people, see the publicists;
zip past Computicket and pick up some tickets and ingratiate myself with the people managing Computicket in case I need a favour later;
go back to publicity office with press kits left in the car;
meet Dunisani [at last] and hand over road signs;
fetch Robyn S from the bus and take her to the house;
attend “LONDON ROAD” cue-to-cue tech;
drop press kits off at Cue and stop to kiss Belinda de L who is the best advertising manager in the game but she’s out;
make sure Fiona and Juanita F are OK and sorted;
drive back home and try and remember what shows I am seeing on day 1;
food, red wine and sleep.
Next time around – comment on the first shows.Â Man, I love it.