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30 Days – eek!

March 26, 2010

because as any dedicated hard-core 100daysofsouthwarkmysteries bloghead knows, we’re counting down to a Day Zero AFTER the 3 days of performances, which means first night is less than a lunar cycle, just 27 days away.

Thank my guardian angels for getting me this far, through the minefields and the sloughs of desponds. Thanks all you good people, old friends and new, who’ve given me support in terms of voluntary contributions or even just an encouraging word. Thanks most of all to Katie, who had to go through this rollercoaster ride enlivened by the volatility of her partner producer. Testing times for us both, that can have us running on pure adrenaline, blowing up, blowing over…

So today, Friday, we sneaked off work for the first full day off work (not counting Shabbats) since we started SERIOUSLY producing all this back in the Day 100.

To Eastbourne. Yea! Faded grandeur with a new lick of paint. We wind through the backstreets, digging the quirky architecture,  up around by Hippodrome Theatre, down Seaside Road, sit on a wooden bollard on a shingle beach in the pale sun, stroll to the end of the pier and back ground, look back and sea the entire beacj scallopped, shining …

And it’s full of old people, which makes us feel so young! Then as we relax and unwind and breathe the sea-air we both suddenly get so sleepy we have to mainline coffee in the Italian art deco seen-better-days cafe.

Now home. Yes, we needed that! Doctor’s orders. The morning before I’d woken with a headache and in cold sweat of fear that loose threads could yet pull it all apart, all this patient careful work, this beautiful living tapestry made up of so many remarkable people, all of them facing up to their own fears and then daring to go one step beyond.

The Southwark Mysteries is, you’ll have gathered, a bit more than a modern Mystery Play, for me at least. So I’m not surprised, nor do I complain (“Not ‘arf!” Ed.) that these 100 days have themselves taken on the shape and form of a spiritual work, a journey, with its highs and lows, its tests and trials and miraculous affirmations.

What it teaches me, first and last, is that I can’t do this alone. Obviously. There are more than 20 professionals working with 100 community cast members, with as many people again offering their support in many different fields.

No, but more than this… WE can’t do it alone. If we try to control everything we only end up worrying our problems into existence. We need faith and trust in the unfolding of the process, in the work itself, which is bigger than any of us, not least the author.

I’m at my John Crow best when I just get out of the way and surrender to that which is bigger than me and let it unfold. This was how The Southwark Mysteries was received and written, which made almost everything I’d written before then seem forced and contrived.

So, although I do my meticulous accountant’s-son best to scrutinize every aspect of this production – and to ensure that the structures are in place to enable the production team to deliver an unforgettable dramatic experience – yet I know that ultimately all theatre is a leap of faith in the face of all manner of disaster, that’s why we love it, it makes us feel fully alive!!! reminds us that we’re all in the hands of God, the Goddess, however else we conceive the Unknowable that is both more and less than anything we can conceive yet which allows all conception to coexist…

As here, in The Goose at Liberty.

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