Archive for May, 2014

After I’d finally just about killed myself registering the show, Chloe phoned up in a bit of a tizz.  ‘I can’t believe you wrote the descriptions of the show without my input!’ she exclaimed.  ‘We’re meant to be a team!’

‘I was in a hurry…and at four pm our time, you’re not even awake,’ I countered.  She gets up at midday in Boston by which hour we’ve practically gone to bed.

‘Hunh!  You could have asked me a few days before,’ she answered.

This is puzzling.  Like, has she been away so long she’s forgotten who her family is?  Are any of us likely to get something together a few days before a deadline? 

Then she said, ‘What title did you put?’

‘Er….The Jammy Dodgers Go Underground, of course, since that is the title,’ I said.

‘It’s too long,’ she said.  ‘It should just be The Jammy Dodgers.’

‘But…it’s the title of the book!  You can’t change it.  What would Brenda say?’

‘But they might not even go underground,’ she said.

‘What?’ I shrieked, aghast.  ‘Not….Go….Underground?’

‘Maybe not,’ she said.  ‘Why should they?’

She’s very weird, you know.  It’s like trying to do business with a slippery eel.  ‘Er….because it’s in the title?’ I hazarded.

‘Not if the title becomes ‘The Jammy Dodgers.’

‘Chloe,’ I said patiently, ‘if Jem, Ned and Billy don’t Go Underground, how will they escape from the dead-house with all the nasty coffins and dead bodies in it?’

Bash and I have concluded that Chloe’s gone a bit loopy-loo.  We know the plot of The Jammy Dodgers Go Underground definitely involves going underground.  However, interpretation, that’s the thing with musical adaptations.  Artistic licence…though we had rather too much of that the first time round in 2007. But, you know, everyone does it.  Look at the Disney version of 101 Dalmations:  they cut out sweet Perdita, the lost dog who helped feed the puppies!  And what did Disney do to Pocahontas?  And look at Spring Awakening:  all those kids pulling mics out of their jacket pockets and launching into rampant anachronistic rock.  Do you think Wedekind who wrote the original German play is turning in his grave? (Probably not, as he was so chillingly before his time he’s likely well chuffed.)

‘Actually, I’d better reread the book…’ Chloe conceded, ‘…as I can’t remember what bits we made up last time and what bits were really in it.’

Hmm, yes, she could read it, if our manky thumbed copy weren’t currently in Glasgow being read (out loud probably and in a sinister voice), by Mr Blood.  Ooh, if I didn’t just coin a new double-barrelled epithet!  ‘Manky-thumbed.’  This could well spawn a whole wave of useful others…hmm yes:  ‘skanky-thumbed’ could refer to something what fell off the back of a lorry,  ‘hanky-thumbed’ would refer to noses, ‘swanky-thumbed’ would be posh cars, and ‘yanky-thumbed’ would describe an obstinate nostril hair.  So what would ‘wanky-thumbed’ refer to?  Answers on a post-card please….



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For quite a few weeks, I had been putting scrawled reminders in my diary ‘REGISTER SHOW!’  You see, if you do it before five pm on Wed 19th March, you get a hundred quid discount.  However, things had been hotting up around here, to say the least, with Bash in Grease the musical, the cast party (here!), the fabulous Bollywood Night at school, Bash in Little Shop of Horrors, new French pupils coming out my ears, filling in for a friend teaching au-pairs Advanced English, and filling in for another friend teaching their RDA group (as I have passed my exam and am now a proud RDA-GI).

So, inevitably and suddenly, out of the blue as it were, Wednesday 19th March was upon us.  ‘Shizzle on my dizzle, I’ve got to register the show!’ I repeated to myself while making the porridge, taking the dogs to the woods, making people recite imperfect verb endings (for god’s sake it’s -AIENT fyi!).  My duet partner Tracy turned up, had a cup of tea and left again without playing anything.  ‘You have to register the show!’ she said.  ‘You’ve only got two hours you numpty.’

I reluctantly hauled the forms up on EdFringeWare and started filling them in.  How long could it possibly take?  Names, addresses, contacts, name of show, number of people in show, category of show….hmm, oh yes, children’s, of course, easy.  Secondary categorisation required: choose between drama, cabaret, circus, hmm… should this be comedy or musical theatre?  I was in such a faff by then that I can’t remember what I put.  Musical theatre I think.  Oh, no, they wanted a thirty-five word description of show for programme.  And a hundred-word one for the website!   Shizz, shizz.  I scribbled something down, Lordy knows what, but I know the Jammy Dodgers pretty well, and think I got it in some sort of nutshell, albeit a gnarly, mouldy walnut one.  Then I filled in all the other screens, saving as I went along, as I am an idiot but not a total idiot.  I was due to teach at half four, so I had to rush rush hurry hurry.  Details of venue… typed them in.  Dates of show?  Monday 11th to Saturday 16th August.  Time of show?  Didn’t know.  I phoned Charles for advice.  He said since our slot at the theatre is 1.30 to 2.30,  and ‘get-in’ should take ten mins, our start time should be 1.40, meaning we’ll have 45 minutes to do the show and five minutes to ‘get out’ as in, take all our stuff with us.  It’s lucky Chloe is into minimalist and Brechtian as this means props are out.  This is a good thing…maybe not for your props person but ours happens to be going off walking to Santiago di Compostela or somewhere so she won’t mind.

I finally pressed REGISTER.  Red words glared out at the top of the screen:  ‘One mandatory field to be filled in.’  It did not tell me where.  I scanned all screens again.  All fields were present and correct.  I pressed REGISTER again.  The red words were back.  ‘Mandatory field missing in ‘General Information.’  I went to General Information.  It was all filled in, dammit!  I changed my email to Tabby’s email, in case that was the problem (damn *smacks head* have just realised this may be why I am receiving no Fringe-related mail…).  I changed myself from ‘Manager’ to ‘Producer’, in case that helped.  I pressed REGISTER.  Oh bollox, bollox, bloody red words.  I scoured all fields again.  Fifteen minutes left.  This was when my screen chose to freeze, ball of death spinning.  I went upstairs to be nearer the wireless router.  Nothing.  Clicked on everything, as you do.  Zilch.  Just frigging frozen wastes. Bloody computers.  I debated what to do.  If I turned it off and on, would I lose my painstakingly entered info?  Possibly.  But what else could I do?

I turned it off and on.  I waited for the screens.  Still comatose.  During a teensy window of activity a boxette popped up which told me:  ‘Our website is currently experiencing a high volume of traffic…..’  Well of course.  All the luvvies had left it to the last minute, just like me.  Why didn’t I do it the week before, for God’s sake?  I banged my head on the photocopier a few times, chucked paper about and wept and wailed and gnashed my teeth in case that would help.  Finally I could not let my student wait any longer, so gave up and went out.

The next day, in a calmer mood, I emailed the Fringe office explaining that I was sorry to have waited til the last day, detailing my strenuous efforts.  They replied saying I could register over the phone, charged me the discount rate and were kind and forgiving.

Phew.  So that’s done, no sweat, lol.  I’ve only gone grey, again.  Gosh, sometimes you just think:  this is an awful lot of hassle for us to be able to strut and fret our 45 minutes upon the stage and then be heard no more.  However, such is the lure of theatre.  We must be addicts.

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