A Different Pier to St. Andrews

Hi guys. I ended the last blog post telling you about us singing through the pouring rain on Sunday night (well, Monday morning), all happy despite the storm and not caring about being soaking wet. We were drenched, tired and cold, but happy when we went to bed.

Monday.

Hmm.

It appears we may have overestimated our own strength. (Or forgotten our collective weaknesses.) Turns out spending a night in the pouring rain isn’t actually ideal for one’s health. (Who knew?!)

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Shelter from the “storm”

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t a great day. The weather was against us, which only made the cast members who were feeling under the weather feel a little bit worse. There was a slight drizzle all day, and the weather hadn’t improved come show time.

For those yet to see the show, there’s a dead body. This dead body is, naturally, played by one of our actors. The thought of an already under-the-weather actor lying on the damp ground for an hour wasn’t a brilliant one from a health and safety (and, let’s face it, common sense) perspective.

Naturally, before anything else, the health and safety of the cast and crew comes first. Always. The show is also second to that.

So Monday was our first cancelled performance of the tour. Oli and Sarah courageously stayed behind to wait for the several people willing to see the show despite the spitting rain.

We all went home and rested. Doing a show every night of the week is a new experience for most of us, not quite like the weekend student performances we’re used to in St. Andrews.

Lessons learnt: this tour is a marathon, not a sprint. Look after your health. The show always comes second to that.

Tuesday

The glorious weather returned, and we were all in better spirits.

We awoke to a smoothie Oli had made us all whilst we were sleeping. He said it was full of fruits and vitamins. We can’t be sure exactly what was in it, but we’re all still here. So that’s a good sign.

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The “thing”

We went about our usual flyering duties. We occasionally get into a pleasant conversation whilst flyering; often we just get ignored. Occasionally we get a bit rudeness. On Tuesday I got a Magnum. A real chocolatey free Magnum. Off two girls who even came to see the show! Double win. Thanks again guys.

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Free food

The show went well. The audience size was pretty good and, thankfully, the sun was shining. (We’d missed it. It had only been a day.)

We came back to the house, all happy to have the show back running as usual. We drank a little, and played the game ‘Vampires’, and laughed into the wee hours…

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lol, covfefe

Wednesday

Another gloriously sunny day. Since arriving, we had been planning- and postponing- a ‘pier day’- a day set aside for, you guessed it, Brighton Pier. The sun was shining and it seemed like today would be the best day. So a very last minute decision was made: the day would be spent on the pier. (Whilst still adhering to flyering duties. Cry.)

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Self-evident, and thumb.

Dan, Sarah and Zoe were first to flyer. So the rest of us went to the pier. Throughout the day we all gradually dispersed and reappeared in accordance to our advertising commitments. But we all spent time on the famous pier which, in a shocking turn of events, is nothing like the one at St. Andrews.

Gab, Em, Annabel and I enjoyed the fruits of the pier. The fruit we were particularly interested in was the largest rollercoaster they had on offer: Turbo. Praying our bags wouldn’t be stolen, we queued for a whopping sixty seconds before getting on, bracing in (double checking we were definitely braced in), ascending, seeing a panoramic of sea and sky and city, (definitely definitely checking we were indeed braced in), before descending, whirling, upside-down-ing. (It’s a word.) You all know what a rollercoaster is. Or at least a mini-pier-sized version.

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Before the turbo

Gab ran off to flyer (on time, promise promise promise…) and we three got food. I got an incredibly economical box of noodles. (Seriously Dr. Noodle, what you playing at?) We sat on an old style bench, watched the sun flicker off the sea, and felt like we were in the olden days. (Well, at least I did.)

Somehow we resisted the temptation to pay £20 to have our fortunes read. (Seriously, how did we have that will power? I mean, the guy could read our futures! Seriously! For real!)

Em had some cash to spend, and so got a temporary tattoo. After much debate and squabble (“No we can’t get the BoxedIn Theatre logo”) a little dinosaur named Skinny Jeff was decided on. He doesn’t immediately look skinny, but if you look at his relatives in the big book of tattoo options, Regular Jeff and Fat Jeff, the name makes sense.

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Getting ink. 

I’ve never seen someone so excited.

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Skinny Jeff

I left to flyer, but the others stayed and enjoyed the day. Sarah, after much persuasion, went on her first rollercoaster. She vowed never to go on one again.

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Never again…

The gang went down to the beach and by all accounts had a great time. There were a lot of chips and, I’m told, a lotta’ laughs.

These prescribed settings also seem a bit odd to me. Although every venue wants you to feel a certain way (a restaurant satisfied with a meal; a theatre happy with a show), it always seems odd when a place prescribes the emotions in their actual titles. (‘Amusement Park’; ‘Arcade of Fun’, etc.) I don’t know if the arcades really were that fun, or the rides that thrilling. But the air was hot. And we were all there. Everybody seemed to have a good day.

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We went to the park and somehow, as if by magic (or an effective advertising campaign), we got our largest turn out yet. Thirty-five real human beings! (For comparison, our capacity is forty.) The show went well, but we didn’t think about it for too long. Why were we packing up so fast…

Oh, yes. That’s why. Not coerced or disproportionally influenced by any of the cast and crew specifically (seriously guys, definitely not Em and Annabel; definitely not them…) that evening we were seeing Macho Macho. For those who didn’t read the last blog post, Em and Annabel (and quite a few others, it must be said) got a little excited watching Macho’s own effective ad campaign on the street. (That campaign being stripping and flexing.) They were certainly excited to see the real thing and, to be honest, the rest of us were as well.

None of us were entirely sure what to expect. We knew it was a show exploring masculinity. A physical theatre piece, of some description.

We took a bus to Hove. We got our tickets but were a little early, so we bought some drinks and found a magnificent garden just down the road. It was very much like our performance space (long, green, running down to the sea), only instead of being surrounded by holiday hotels, we now found ourselves surrounded by the apartments of the evidently very wealthy. The sun was setting and the mood was calm.

We arrived at the Old Market theatre. There was even some pre-show virtual reality entertainment, which a couple of us decided to try out…

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The future is now

The two bodies were onstage, curled on the ground, as we walked in. (I can only presume they took inspiration from Wood.) For an hour we watched an intense physical duet, the two lifting and supporting each other, trying to keep up, panting, staring into the bare stage lights, staring into the audience. Oli got given one of their sweaty t-shirts. Why he voluntarily gave it back at the end I can only guess.

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Excited…

It was clearly not to everybody’s taste. A few people walked out (none from our party), and several of the older audience members had clearly bought their tickets thinking they were seeing something else.

We all concurred that, despite the two being evidently talented, the show did not use their talents effectively. It was a short show, only an hour long, but their movements were repetitive. I myself am not particularly well-versed in physicality, but there were clearly some ideas that were being effectively communicated. Still, they were two clearly talented individuals, and we all came home glad to have witnessed Macho Macho.

So that’s that. Tonight we’re hitting the town (Thursday, student night, get with it) and so we’ll let you know how that goes. Will it be as messy as Gab’s birthday? Time will tell…

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