After my imprecations to film clubbers to be punctual for last night's showing of Andrei Rublev, it was me who was late. Very late. I didn't get back home from the Maker panto's technical rehearsals until a second or two before eight o'clock and then needed to eat before doing the usual film club stuff. And the rehearsals started at ten in the morning!
Mrs The Millbrooker took the executive decision to abandon Andrei Rublev and we watched the considerably shorter "Men Who Stare At Goats" instead. But that's not what I want to talk about this morning.
After the film, Frankenkeith asked what I meant by "technical rehearsal" - I did my best to explain.
In a theatrical enterprise there tend to be two camps - luvvies and techies. Luvvies prance about on the stage. Techies make it all work. Sometimes the two camps manage to work together. Sometimes the two camps have members in common. For example - Pete D at Maker was to be found yesterday up ladders...
...and also on stage (centre back, arm in the air).
Note large plywood sheets hanging at odd angles stage left (on the right as you look at it). That's the sort of thing that happens at technical rehearsals. The rehearsal is not so much for the luvvies as for the techies to learn when to slide a piece of scenery onto the stage, when to hit a sound effect, which lights need to flash and a what point.
This invariably means that technical rehearsals are long and drawn out affairs, but essential to the smooth running of the show. It also means that we luvvies get to spend a lot of time sitting around in the dressing room. This is the level of comfort we enjoy whilst the audience sit out front. The whole cast fits in here. Somehow.
And, once the call is received, we get to stumble along the caravan's central walkway.
At the end of which we get a tiny glimpse of the stage just before we go on.
In the shot above you see uber-techie Will on stage, thinking hard about some microphone leads.
Ah - the glamour of international showbiz. Note the fine cuisine enjoyed by thespians as they await their turn to have lights and microphones adjusted around them. Here we have (L-R) Geraldine, Dame Sandy of Florrick and Didds picnicking in the February sunshine at Maker.
But eventually, of course, everything gets done and the luvvies get to strut their stuff complete with effects and sound cues. Thank you, technical people.