Sunday, February 15, 2004

(The Bun Shop, Cambridge: in case of emergency, detach bike.)

Friday the 13th and Valentine’s Day: a low key combination

Saturday morning rehearsals are not getting any easier. Send me your halt, your lame, your under-slept night-owls, your hungover, your chronically tardy.

That’s pretty much the state of most of us come “Golden Ass” rehearsals at 10 am Saturday. On the upside play rehearsals are now being held in a regular venue at my college, so it’s easy to duck across the graduate common room and make coffee. I made one for the director this week, which was probably sucking-up, but I may have lost the brownie points coming back late from lunch.

(The downside is it’s the lecture hall where Junior Common Room Friday bops are held. The floor was disgustingly sticky with spilt beer and god-knows-what this week. Walking across the “stage” was accompanied by suction cup noises at every step. The chalkboard also bore the ledgend: “The Asolutely Bad Taste Party”, but the top line seemed to read “Absolut Ely” – vodka straight from an old cathedral town, perhaps? There was also some disturbing ... blood splatter ... in the gent's toilet. So the reason I don't go to JCR parties.)

By lunchtime we’re usually all in pretty good form: the buzz of rehearsals, the ravenous stabbing pangs of hunger. I’ve become obsessed with the full English breakfast at the Bun Shop pub on King’s Street behind Christ’s College. Five pounds for a huge plate of back, eggs, beans, sausage, mushroom and chips or hash browns. Mmmm … cholesterol.

Friday I had also been at the Bun Shop, drinking with the Friday pub alliance – which was a bit like returning to the scene of the crime I suppose. I wandered through Friday oblivious to it being the 13th and had a singularly pleasant day. Nothing untoward at all.

Okay, the May Ball I wanted to go to sold out - but hell, there are others. Other than that, little of note. Attended class, went to a talk, had a coffee, completed a scholarship application. Drank three pints, smoked cigar, went to party.
Typical day really. Other than the cigar. Don’t know how that happened at all.

Oh yes, last night I also went to see a friend from the Albert’s Bridge cast’s first stab at directing. It was a college production of Alan Ayckbourn’s “Comic Potential”, a terribly funny, clever script that was pulled off really well by the cast and in a small venue. The play itself features a “near-future” in which TV actors have been replaced by emotionless “actoid” androids – except one begins to develop an independent sense of humor, and becomes involved with a comedy script writer. Like most good science fiction, it was basically an allegory about human nature. None of which makes it sound as funny as it was.

Of course, some would say we don’t have to wait for the near future for the comic-misadventures of synthetic actors and their love-lives to become national entertainment …

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