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Friday, September 24

Not an awful lot to report
So why write? Well, I don't know. Maybe I just like it. As Jonathan Pryce once said "Don't ask anymore".

Yesterday was another day spent in the office. Office work can make the day fly by, or can see the day crawl past like an injured hyena. It varies. Working with a clock on the telephone and computer screen means that you can be painfully aware of the time. It's rare that the day goes by at the ideal rate. Either there's not enough time, or there's way too much. This is a real nuisance. Looking back on Edinburgh with rose-tinted spectacles (as I'm bound to) I remember many of the days passing by quite quickly. There were times when flyering seemed to be taking forever, but largely the days flew by. Perhaps the fact that we were running to a schedule helped a great deal - in general there was the same amount of work to do every day and it was labour, rather than thought, intensive.

In some ways, Edinburgh was quite creatively stifling. The only new material I got out of it was factual and a small fantasy about giving a flyer to a dog, which I've not even considered mentioning to a non-fringe audience. Luckily, the creative juices have been flowing much more in the last few weeks. In some ways, I missed the burst of creative energy which Edinburgh can give you. I think that exposure to tons of performance can be very inspiring. Sadly, if you're side-tracked by doing a lot of flyering and performing, then the effect is at least postponed.

Sitting at a desk can be equally stifling. Luckily, long car journeys and, even more so, long walks can balance this out. It's time I got my feet motivated. That's the beauty of having both the desk job and the world outside the office - contrast.

Primped and buffed
I have a hot date tonight, so I've got a new haircut. Well, it's the usual haircut... and the hot date is not actually hot, or a date. I'm going to the theatre. Alone. Technically, it's not a date, more a diversion from a lonely night in. A lonely night out. But I shall be with countless other people (well, there'll be a count, but I won't be a party to it - the box office staff will probably know, I can't be bothered to conduct my own census). I'm off to the Theatre Royal in Newcastle to see The Merry Widow. I've not seen this show before and I've only heard it a couple of times. I'm not sure whether I'll like it, but it's got singing in it and it's some people's favourite show, so I'm sure I'll find the good in it. Knowing me, I'll also find the mediocre and bad in it. At least I'll come out of the theatre knowing more about the show. Maybe this will help the recording I possess of it makes some more sense. Maybe I'll even want to listen to it some more.

I'm in the habit of buying programmes to shows I go and see, so I shall have something to remember the evening by. I have skimped on the price of the ticket, opting for a cheap seat up in the gods... and it's really high up there. You do get a reasonable view, though - often of the heads of the actors... and tall scenery is a waste of time. If it's really good, then I could always buy a stalls seat for tomorrow and see it again. I am a cheap date for myself. I hope I don't fall out with myself and end up going home separately from myself. That's the beauty of dating yourself. If you do end up going home alone, it's not necessarily an indication of a failed evening.

Show memorabilia
I have quite a lot of programmes from shows I've been to see. Suprisingly, though, it's programmes and nicely printed sheet music from shows that I've not seen (or at least productions I've not seen) that find their way into clip frames on the wall of my dining room. Today I received a late 90's programme for the National Theatre's production of Guys and Dolls. It's nice to see how another production looks. Once I've been in a production, its own imagery becomes the dominant memory of the show... and I'm staunchly loyal, so I'm going to consider anything we do on stage in February to be far better than anything ever. Hopefully other people will agree.

The question is whether I'm going to go along and see the Darlington production of this show at the end of next month? I've never seen the show on stage. Should I put another live version into my head? Watch this space. Perhaps I will go, and perhaps it will be really poor - much like the version of Little Shop of Horrors I saw at the People's Theatre in July. If the show is good, the poverty of the performance can fade into the background, supported by the quality of the writing... and I can feel superior, safe in the knowledge that I'm not boasting when I say "I could have done a better job". Ok, so maybe that's not a thing to admit, but it's true and I try to avoid denying the truth on this blog.

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