…before the storm. Tomorrow we get in Sweet Charity. There’s not much time to blog when you’re focussed on the task so by way of update Rob & I have shot 136GB of rehearsal video, designed the rig, plotted 225 lx cues, fettled the plans (overstage, FoH, booms, section, set/stage/focus points, scene-by-scene, lx-everything), made the lx practicals, found some followspot crew and even done a bit of carpentry to help the set along. One set of hires is in the venue, the other is loaded in the van. The car is loaded with ropelight, nylon cord, hard hats, hi viz, toe-tectors, just-in-case items (DMX, black wrap, glow tape), and my magic blue box (colour, frost, gobos, plans, bar tapes, USB key with show file, tools, tape measures, gopro). Lunch! Damnit, mustn’t forget the things in the fridge or the biscuits for the crew; don’t want a mutiny.

So the theory is good – hours in advance save minutes on the day and minutes on the day are finite; we’ve done the prep. Tomorrow we find out if it works. Most of the day will be spent rigging, cabling, addressing, patching. Some of it focussing. The actual percentage of the day spent looking at the lighting to make it better will be very small so we have to make those bits really count.

Brain ought to relax now. The show’s all loaded in vehicles, and, barring things from the fridge which have to be tomorrow, can’t be forgotten. Brain is the weak point now. Being at home with multiple computers and a visualizer to marshal the information is all well and good; at some point tomorrow, brain will have to recall (unaided) how all 103 lights point, zoom, shutter, and what on earth it was thinking when it originally plotted all those cues. Ok, so I try to write focus notes, but 3D problems don’t map well into English. Early night, won’t sleep, early rise, stare at the information and memorise it. Oh, and colour palettes. My brain thinks they’re colour A, lighting desk says colour B, visualiser colours C,D,E,F for each of the different fixture types. Trying to remember what you aimed for when watching multiple wrong versions of the truth is a headache at best.

Apprehension. How many crew? What is pre-rigged? What will go wrong? What haven’t we thought about? Have to be nimble; the plan is good, but must adapt and change as the day wears on. Going to be on a mission tomorrow to get it rigged and focussed so we can actually do the creative bit; must keep the energy up; must remember to eat and drink. Oh yes, and the big one – will it work as a design, or is it going to be a very long week? Tomorrow is the moment of reckoning.

It’s a privilege to work with the talented people who are trying to make this show happen. It could be good. It should be good. All we need is a little luck along the way…

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