Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Surrogate blog

This is not a text.

We just finished our production of The Winter's Tale, a 23-cast, 2-director, 2-stage manager extravaganza replete with the kind of post-production antics you only ever really get in amateur theatre. There'sjust a certain level of silly that is reserved for those who have jobs elsewhere.

Performed at the amazingly awfully sight-lined but otherwise beautiful Aleksanterin teatteri, or the old Helsinki opera house, we had a great time adjusting to the massive space, the old-school pulley fly system, focusing lights by standing on the plush edge of a balcony, and of course I met the ghost. This theatre, for all its mainstream uses, has a very strong ghost. I guess if a house has been around long enough, these kinds of things happen. All I did was go into the house when it was dark and start singing; out of the corner of my eye I saw someone sitting in the fourth row. At first I thought it was just my eyes playing tricks, but then I remembered I'm in a theatre. So I said "Oh. Hello!" and suddenly the hackles went up, all that tingling in the back of the neck. So I welcomed it to the show and there was no more of that, until Joe practically invited it to mess with his lines and lo and behold, he blanked in the final performance. Playful, this one.

You can tell almost immediately if a house has a ghost or not; those without ghosts are rather unfit for performing in, if you ask me. Many people I know, when they start working in a theatre, will not stick around to be the last person out or cannot bear to go into certain rooms in the dark, usually for no reason that they can really explain except that it's vaguely creepy. Later, after hearing lots of bumps in the night, you get to know your theatre's ghost and everything works out. They're not malevolent, just outgoing, and my latest theory as to why is that they are well-fed. Spiritually speaking.

hiding behind the bottle
Destroyed, laughing

It was a great experience for just about everybody--that is, when it wasn't painful and horrible, which I'm sure it was a few times. It certainly was a whole lot of work, as evidenced by Anna's capture of the crash:

Ah, but regardless, I got to do cool stuff like go on the radio and get interviewed by the head theatre critic of Helsingin Sanomat, Finland's national daily. All because Shakespeare is still a big deal, and because it's so rare that you get a chance to see it performed in English around here in Helsinki.


Anna MR said...

Ha! I found you, you secretive thing you!

happeningfish said...

Found me nothing! I started this last night in a fit of not much to do!

Anonymous said...

Good to read :)