Props: approx. 300
SM team: 4
12:20pm Quick sausage roll for lunch as I track down a missing pair of wellies haphazardly thrown into the Stage Left wing after the curtain call last night.
1:15pm Actors’ call for notes from the previous performance. By this time the set-up would hopefully be 95% complete. I’m wrestling with a couple of prop birds. Catch my shadow as the technicians play around with lights. My headtorch makes me look vaguely Teletubby-esque. Great.
2:15pm House opens for the matinee performance of Prometheus and the Frogs. Props set. Cast coming, Deputy Stage Manager Joe chatting away on cans (headsets).
Joe: “Who’s already done their Christmas shopping?”
Me: “I haven’t, but I’ve already planned what I’m going to buy.”
Joe: “Typical stage manager…”
2:30pm Start of the first act. Prometheus: a tragedy. A lot of arty ideas and aesthetically pleasing visuals. Throughout I am juggling between reeling in material, preparing for the second act, collecting props and judging masks (Michael’s winning). Oh, and getting a hug from a cast member or two. Or ten. Which is nice.
3:30pm End of first act. 15 minutes to mop/sweep the stage, get Prometheus set out and Frogs set in, add 253 props onto the stage and place them meticulously, and lead a 10-strong team (lovely cast members volunteering to help) without having a coronary. Phew.
3:43pm Check that Frogs is all good to go. I put my thumbs in the air and get 28 pairs of thumbs all up in the air, smiles all around. Spend the next 3 minutes convincing myself I have definitely forgotten something and going into panic mode.
3:45pm Start of The Frogs. Nothing I can do now but wait to see if each prop magically appears. They do. Readying the wings throughout the show, including a logistical nightmare of mummifying someone/coffin entrance/another person’s quickchange/coffin exit/Dinghy entrance. Actor whacks me with an oar. Thank you very much.
4:30pm End of the Frogs. Time to reset the stage for Act 1 of the evening performance. Run over toe with a black board. Ouch. Still looking like Po, but all in black, not red. Emo Po, as it were.
7:30pm House open for Prometheus take two. Massive déjà vu moment.
7:45pm Start of Prometheus take two. Make a hummus sandwich (a Frogs prop), whack a bag of popcorn in the microwave (another prop), grab some sweets (prop)…
8:30pm Changeover again. Cast member takes one of my chocolates that I foolishly leave on the props table. Must remember to put them in a safer place…
8:45pm More thumbs up and cheesy grins. Curtain up. Showtime again. Cast member forgets to take a kazoo from the props table, rushes off stage and makes the best improv late entrance ever.
9:30pm End of the evening performance. A shattered cast change and head for a drink. SM team and some amazing cast volunteers (and lovely tech crew) remain to reset as much as possible for the day after.
11pm Leave the theatre ready for tomorrow. I actually go outside after 12 hours of theatre light and headlamp beams. Meet up with the cast, have a chat, return home around midnight.
2:20am Finish writing a blog post about what’s been taking over my life for the past 6 weeks.