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.  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.   Have learnt the lesson in the last few years though.   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.  Man, I love it.