How to direct a Pantomime Part 8 – Conflict and Compromise

Conflict and compromise.

I can’t quite believe we have reached this point, but we had our first dress rehearsal last night for Mother Goose. I’d like to say it went really well, but we still have a few creases to iron out and a few tweaks to make before we are fully show ready. Happily we have our final dress rehearsal on Wednesday, and even happier still we have a night off tonight.

Now is the point in proceedings where life begins to catch up with all involved. We are all exhausted from the relentless schedule of the preceding week, but not yet adrenaline fuelled enough to carry us through. As a result, mistakes get made and tempers get frayed. However – we have all been here before, know what needs to be done to achieve a polished production, and know that whatever happens we will still be friends at the end of the day.

I hope that all the cast and crew manage to enjoy a relaxing evening tonight and regain enough energy to carry them through the rest of this exciting week.

I still feel that I can’t take my eyes off the ball and will struggle to let go of control on Wednesday evening when I hand over the reigns to Ros, our eternally upbeat and unflappable stage manager. My inner control freak has been creeping out of the box again this week and I am finding it difficult to shape everyone’s performance and work ethic to the way I would like it to be. Or rather – at this point in proceedings accept that I cannot fully control everything and will have to embrace what it has become, having been shaped not just by me but by everyone involved.

I was looking at the ipad this morning (other handheld tablets are available) and after having given up on the news (strikes, deaths and Trump – ugh), switched over to watch a couple of movie trailers instead. I haven’t seen the film yet, but heard a great quote in the trailer for ‘La La Land’ which I really related to and made me smile – even in my bleary eyed state.

A couple are discussing whether one of them is good enough and that their goal is just a pipe dream, when the other replies ‘This IS the dream. It’s conflict, and it’s compromise and it’s very, very exciting’.

And it is.

Very, very exciting.

I have a fab cast and crew who I have great faith in, and I believe we have a very, very good show. I am confident that after a night off we will be ready to smash our final dress rehearsal and sock it to the good people of Kings Langley on Thursday night.