DIARY OF A PROMOTER Sunday 8 August – Day 5

Although only one person booked for today, I very nearly made a mess of this booking. The lady rang earlier in the week and my husband could hear my end of the conversation:

“Yes, Sunday is available….. 10 o’clock, yes that’s fine”

Big “no,no” signs coming from the other end of the kitchen,

“Can you hold the line please?”

“What’s the matter Dave?”

“If she starts at 10 she’ll hit church when the service is still on”

Whoops! How did I, of all people, nearly make this mistake? I was preaching on Sunday as Aslockton! The lady accepted a 1030 slot.

Sunday morning was beautiful, sunny and warm. Having taken the 9 o’clock service at nearby Thoroton, I dashed back and briefed the lady, who arrived on time. Off to Aslockton church, preached the sermon – on a meaty bit of Isaiah – and then rushed back after coffee and the cakes left from the party. Another happy punter who had really enjoyed the experience, we chatted and she left just before 1 o’clock.

Phew! Finished! I had survived! I could now look forward to driving to Leicester to meet up with my cousins for our annual barbecue….

then the ‘phone rang,

“We are ringing about doing the play, we are standing near the church but we can’t see where it starts”

Apparently it had been advertised in The Guardian’s “What’s On” section and this couple had cycled all the way from Beeston to do the walk.

Having established that these people wanted to do it at that moment, I gave them directions to get to my house and they did the walk. They loved it and I was pleased that I had taken such a last minute booking!

And I did get to the barbecue.

Lessons from today:

  • Surprisingly Sunday is not a popular day to do the walk
  • Check service times if you’re using the church as a location. Similarly, check that there are no funerals/weddings on during the run of the play

To sum up, I had survived the 5 days and, after an exhausting start, I had enjoyed the experience immensely. Without The Guardian it would, no doubt, have been a very different experience for me; only 50% of the “audience” were locals. As it was I met a lot of very nice people.

It was incredibly time-consuming but luckily I had blocked out 5 days in my diary. As most people seem reluctant to enter your house with walking shoes on, I ran the whole thing from my kitchen, which is tiled. The kitchen is also near the bit of garden we used for the first bit of the play. People were briefed round the kitchen table, where they returned for feedback and refreshments – it’s good thing that I’ve got a big kitchen.

I suspect that everyone has a different experience depending on the time of day, the weather, your frame of mind and whether you live in the country – someone actually said that he would have liked to repeat the experience at a different time of day or even a different time of year because it would make the whole thing feel different.

From the Aslockton experience I would say that this is a winner – an excellent play and, for most people, a lovely experience.

I’m thinking of writing a play about the experience from a promoter’s viewpoint, I’ll call it

“A kitchen full of Guardian readers”

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