I made my first visit to TheatreFest in 2019 with my show Everything Wrong With You Is Beautiful, and the whole festival was so friendly, fun and fully embraced the concept of expanding to cope with whatever happens.
However, I didn’t get off to an auspicious start.
My tech Rachel was stuck on a train somewhere near Taunton as the minutes ticked towards the start of my one hour dress rehearsal. I rang her to tell her not to worry as the stage lights were currently stuck on a disco setting and, whatever the chief tech tried, they just kept flashing red, blue, green at two minute intervals. Rachel still ran up from the train station, dragging a large wheelie bag behind her and arrived hot and flustered.
Venue tech Mark and the chief tech eventually fixed the problem, and we had our run through. Rachel and I decided to go back to our digs with the lovely Graham and Pat, so Rachel could have a shower and calm down. We dragged all our bags to the car and drove to Graham and Pat’s house.
As we unloaded the boot, I thought, ‘Rachel’s got a lot of stuff for a four day run.’
She said to me, ‘Do you want your rucksack?’
‘I thought that was your rucksack?’
We peeked inside. It was stuffed with leads, gels, filters, batteries…. Rachel had ‘stolen’ Mark’s rucksack.
We were five miles away, without his phone number. I rang the venue, The Southgate, who passed a message upstairs to Mark… and we drove his rucksack back.
‘I’ll be keeping an eye on you,’ he said, looking stern. Then he smiled. ‘Actually, I hadn’t noticed until you sent the message.’
I bought him a beer anyway.
Because you never never mess with the tech staff.