DIARY OF A PROMOTER Thursday 5 August – Day 2

The sun was out and the day looked a lot more promising. Tidied up the house and prepared for a party of 4 at 1030 hours.

“No bubbly this morning then?” enquired Mr Berry. What? Then it clicked, the last time he had been round was for our Ruby wedding celebration! I promised coffee on their return and off they went.

Mr Berry had started the play before his wife did as she was still chatting to me in the kitchen,

“Would have been better if Angela hadn’t been five minutes behind me!” said Mr Berry

“Well you shouldn’t have started without me” said his wife. It’s nice that they still fall out even after 52 years of married life!!

The general consensus was that they would have rather listened to the play at home and then done the walk!!

Six people at 2pm, all knew the village so hopefully no problems. The returned in dribs and drabs and a mixed reception to the play,

“Rather sad”

“It’s a shame that they didn’t record bits specific to Aslockton”

“I like the concept we could use it for a village history walk”

“I just didn’t like the play!”

They had all experienced problems with the sound – fine until a car went past then drowned out. They also had to contend with a helicopter overhead for quite some time!

The 2 o’clock crowd were still chatting and enjoying their tea and cake when the ladies from the Arts Council (Laura White and Jill Brown) arrived – the kitchen was very full at this point!! Laura and Jill were pleased that they were getting it for free and were soon briefed and off. They were non-committal about it. Both had experienced similar things which were site-specific and, in their view, better. Laura clearly enjoyed the play and we had a long discussion about what Patience was going to do – was she going to commit suicide? Laura thought so. Jill found it all rather clichéd. OK, at first I thought that some of it appears that way but the twists in the story stop it being clichéd and the handling of the characters is very even-handed.  The Arts Council were still into the tea and cakes when the 1830 bookings arrived. Soon got them off and the 1900 couples – time for our meal before they all piled back into the kitchen.

“Brilliant, loved it”

Everyone had clearly enjoyed the experience a lot.

Although no “party” knew each other we soon were having discussions about the best university to read Drama, other plays they had all seen and the possibility of getting one of the allotments across the road!

As I wished the last couple farewell at 9:30pm, the ‘phone rang

“Sorry it’s late but can we book for tomorrow morning, Cynthia (of the Wednesday night crowd) says it’s brilliant”

We discuss availability; she will ring back in the morning. Better just check my e-mail

“Dear Sue, Would it be possible to book for Saturday afternoon?”

Reply to e-mail, collapse in front of the Ten O’Clock News – will I survive until Sunday?

Lessons from today:

  • When people are doing the play together, remind them in the briefing to all press go together!
  • A lot of people experienced difficulty hearing the play due to extraneous noise BUT it was a particularly bad afternoon, the hedge on Mill Lane was being cut, a helicopter overhead and the usual traffic through the village.

Using your home as a base means that you have to keep tidying up (this probably shows that I am not very good in the housekeeping department!). Offering refreshments (and I didn’t charge!) means that you’re constantly washing up.

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