Past Glories; Day 255

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Right then. In my last (very) brief missive I promised an update by the end of the week. And here it is.

Never Rains But It Pours opened on Tuesday to a packed house. The cast and production team did me proud. There were a few hiccups as to be expected on an opening night when the nerves are jangling and the stakes are raised, but all was recovered and the audience laughed/didn’t laugh in all the right places. The feedback has been positive thus far and the first reviews in were encouraging, including … 

 “Carr’s one act play has an epic quality, well nourished by savage humour and deft writing” – euVue.co.uk 

All credit to director Kath Frazer and the cast who are having praise heaped upon their heads (quite rightly, she said, not-at-all-being-biased-towards-them) … Louisa Shirley has been described as “incredible”, Jo Kelly “superb” and Emma Watson “fantastic” – we’ll be lucky if they can still get their heads through the door for the rest of the run! 

Normally I’d probably end my post there. Aren’t I brilliant, blah blah blah, goodbye. 

However. 

I have been inspired by a recent blog post by novelist Hazel Osmond. She writes “I’ve never found the author websites where everything in the writing garden is lovely, very helpful. Those where people were prepared to talk about the days when writing comes out like curdled concrete, or how getting a rejection feels, were in some strange way, the ones that inspired me more.” [Read the full post here

So. In the spirit of honesty and openness, of telling-it-like-it-is … I feel completely out-of-sorts. That is as descriptive as I can be, I’m afraid, as I have absolutely no idea why. I should be skipping down the street humming ditties as I go – especially with the sun having emerged of late. But I’m not. I’m holed up indoors wondering what the bloomin’ heck my problem is and how I can shake it off.     

I suspect one element that is causing me such discombobulation (impressed?!) is how close to home this production is. By which I don’t mean it’s my life story, I mean the fact it is being produced by the People’s Theatre. As I said in my earliest post on Past Glories, I am a member of the People’s and have been for nigh on seven years. I was writing plays before I joined and was still pretty new when My Mam Was An Ice Cream Blonde won The People’s Play Award – but in the years since the place has become a bit of a home away from home. It’s where I go to get away from my desk, to caper about the place in big dresses and bigger hats, to enjoy a drink (or two) with friends. And while I am delighted and honoured to have been asked to contribute a play to the Centenary Season, I don’t think I’d realised the pressure on my shoulders until this week arrived. Pressure put there by myself, I hasten to add, as I live up to that old adage of ‘being my own worst enemy’. I can’t be the anonymous writer there, sat at the back, unknown. So I put my pretty dress on for opening night, smile, style it out, try not to look like I am about to throw up with the terror. I am proud to stand behind this play and will shout from the roof tops that it is my work, but the expectation weighs heavy, along with the worry of letting the Theatre/the cast/the director/ the audience down.

It’ll pass, this whatever-it-is. I just hope it goes sooner rather than later so I can relax and enjoy this time with Rains/Pours – it’s not every day you get your play produced for a fortnight. These opportunities need to be treasured and relished, who knows when or where or what the next project will be. You’re only as good as your last play and every play could be your last – that’s my theory anyway (no pressure!) 

There we are, then. Is it much of an advert for the play? I hope so, they are doing a tremendous job and deserve an audience … in the spirit of which, plug plug, it is on until Sat 16th!

As for me – there are two schools of thought, I either get-over-myself with a walk in the sun and an ice-cream or find a cupboard to hide in. I’ll let you know in my next which one I plumped for …

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4 responses »

  1. Ah Alison I really feel for you (if that doesn’t sound pervy). It’s that waiting for the anvil to drop thing mixed in with a bit of being your own greatest critic. Take a deep breath – you’ve earned the right to have your work up on the stage petal, and it’s going down well. You did it… tell fear of failure to bugger off and buy his own curly wurly.

  2. A marvellous heartfelt post…..I feel the same every second …..and sunny weather makes desperation worse because you feel guilty about it…..feeling fraught on a winters day s far more socially acceptable xx

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