That’s week one down then. We’ve opened. We’ve got reviews. Now the next three weeks are about having some fun and connecting with an audience.

A mixed, mixed bag of emotions. Practically a Tumi carry-on’s worth, but no bigger. All productions have their stress points. Coming off the back of an extremely collaborative and affable three weeks of rehearsal, we should have know that tech and previews might offer their challenges. But even the challenges faced by a production that is sitting on top of not one but two other shows didn’t take us too far off course. The word of the week was compromise. Sound, lights and set pieces were not as we’d envisioned, some of our circumstances made those of us with less experience a little more skittish than was necessary on press night(s), but it all worked out in the end.

Having the job of producer as well as creator (composing the music and writing the transmedia content with Jonny) has certainly tested me. Swapping hats has never been my strong point. I admire those who can, but I need to segment. So when it came to review time it’s been a tough one. The creator in me wanted to just focus on the positives, have a little glory if and when it came. But the producer in me has to see it all. And it’s not all nice. We’re a late night, very low budget, fringe show that’s trying to play with form and content. It was never going to be an easy ride with a musical that isn’t really a musical, but is also not quite a cabaret or a straight play. It’s made me extremely protective of my team, sometimes to the point where I’ve made poor choices (never email when tired and frustrated folks!)

But the overall results put all that into perspective. Our second preview will be something I remember for as long as I live. Everything just seemed to work brilliantly that night and I saw the show that had always been in our heads. We have some great reviews and some brilliantly constructive advice to sit alongside the unhelpful and ‘oh look at me and my opinion’ cruel. As the show now beds in I’m really looking forward to seeing how the show tightens and grows and hoping that I can just relax and enjoy it.

Simon

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