Today was the first performance of my yearly industrial theatre roadshow. I’ve been creating, writing and directing a new thirty five minute, four hander play for this big company for almost six years now and it’s amazing. We use the same characters to deliver different messages to a huge audience, around the country, and over the years the client and the workers have grown to love the characters and the show, and feedback has shown that the message is being successfully taken up.
But it really is such an interesting process. After I pitch my concept it goes back and forth a bit until I get go ahead to write the script. This too goes backwards and forwards a couple of times (where client tries to squeeze in a few last minute messages – they know how effective the industrial theatre performance is at delivering a message), and then we rehearse.
One of the most interesting things about the rehearsal process is that the cast and I create the show with the audience in mind, but with no idea which bits will work, what will be funny and whether we have ‘got’ them. So when we face our first audience there are always the first show nerves, the little patches of panic and the ‘do we have them?’ moments. And I am so proud to say that today was fantastic. Yes there were the few blapsies and the sound was a bit all over the place, but the guys were received like old friends, and they were applauded and cheered and loved! Nothing like five hundred people to perform to, to cheer a theatre junkie up.
Thank you Thembani Luzipho, Mbuso Shandu, Mzimasi Nongwe and Hein de Vries. You guys are number one!