When we got to the open air theatre yesterday evening, the first thing we had to do was to dismantle what was left of our backstage gazebo, where we are supposed to sit whilst waiting to go on stage. The wind had been so strong that it had sheared one of the bolts that held the roof together, rendering the whole thing liable to tear itself to shreds, if left to face the wind in its severely weakened state.
Fortunately, there were enough willing thespians on hand to carry out the work before the roof blew away.
With my faithful servant, Diggory, ‘whom I have advanced from the barn’, making his own unique contribution.
The storm clouds were gathering as we donned our costumes, but the audience just kept arriving, all equipped with picnics, rugs, anoraks, and various items of arctic clothing. About 120 people sat through the evening enthusiastically laughing and generally making us feel that our chattering teeth were still able to deliver some of the lines correctly.
We were rewarded with warm and generous applause at the end, but we were too cold to do more than one quick bow, before fleeing for the warmth of the hut that served as our dressing room.
The weather forecast for this evening is less than encouraging. My guess is that the show will, in true theatrical tradition, go on, but I think it will be a pretty damp affair. Only crazy people, with good waterproofs, will turn up to watch. But this is Brighton, so who knows?
Tomorrow, if the weather forecast is to be believed, I think we will be wise to abandon the theatricals and divert our energies to building an ark. Whether or not our last performance will take place as planned on Sunday is firmly in the lap of the rain gods and the management of the Brighton Open Air Theatre.
Whatever floats your BOAT.