Blog Post: Things I have learnt from opening Anthology (after @marcusromer)

In many ways provoked by the lovely Marcus Romer who did something similar and a lot more eloquently last week after he opened his Romeo and Juliet.

Things I know from the run up to press night of an outdoor performance featuring 7 different routes. Along with some things I wished I had known before the run up to this one.

You can do nothing about the rain. Looking at weather forecasts is 3 minutes you could have spent doing something else.

Cursing yourself for leaving your press night cards until press night morning is because you don’t remember that yesterday was more frantic than today.

If you have to graffiti things that don’t belong to you leave it to the last possible moment. And get someone else to actually do it. The director will be missed from the press night if arrested. And by definition there will be journalists about to write it up.

Changing batteries in 200 headsets will always take an hour longer than you thought.

If you have 7 shows opening simultaneously the director cant have a favourite. Everyone else can. And they will. But you can’t. And you should smile at all times when they tell you which one is best. Remember they wont have seen them all. And not everyone likes Coca Cola.

If you have to leave a prop outside a. the Students’ Union or b. a Catholic Church you can lay good money on the church nicking it before the students. The students will try to hump it though if it is even vaguely animal shaped. Because they know you can’t see more than one a night the people who have seen different routes will always try to give you solutions. It’s a struggle to hear the problem sometimes but you must.

Out of any 20 people 1 will always have had issues with their headphones. They will always be the loudest voice in the bar. Talk to them first.

If you have to stop a preview because of a technical problem saying “technical error” will leave all the resident technicians hating you. Saying “technical issues” will have them all thinking that you rightly took responsibility.

Adding your own dog in to the show is never the simplest way to solve a tonal problem. But it might be the most handsome way of solving it.

Putting an airstream caravan in to the show is never the simplest way to solve a staging problem. But it might be the most handsome way of solving it.

If the only person insured to drive the Jeep that moves the caravan is the director then you shouldn’t put on your press night suit on until after that’s been done.

Just because it’s press night does not mean that you can single handedly lift the caravan that previously took 3 people. Try anyway just in case you have been given magic powers.

Don’t give in to the pressure from the hosting Artistic Director to stand on a chair to give a speech if you are 6 foot 3. You will look ridiculous.

Check before you give your speech that the press have left the party.

At the after show party dance with your wife. Most days aren’t like this.

If you want to have a genuinely brilliant press night party invite LIPA students. And make sure you personally leave before it gets too out of hand.


Just for the record I was not arrested (and neither was the person I sent in my place!) but the press had not left the party when I got up on that chair so I woke up this morning to find my ramblings paraphrased in the reviews. Lesson learnt.


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