Regeneration: The work-in-progress showing in numbers

SpikeLee001 B&W1
tea trolley during the tech (something of a first for all us, and something which is definitely going on our ongoing spreadsheet of the foodstuffs offered by venues we work in).

40 pieces of velcro keeping our drawing paper on the wall of the studio.

2 moments when Estelle, Charlie and I thought that, despite those bits of velcro, the paper was going to fall off during the performance.

2 uses of an expletive which made me acutely aware that there were a couple of under 13s in the audience.

1 visible scene list which proved that London audiences like a visible scene list equally as much as Exeter ones do.

New York B&W6 different cities where a scene of the play took place.

6 different areas in London where Myles’s character lived.

2 moments where Andy got to do “awkward flirting”.

3 variations of the name “Lucy”.

1 scene that took place on a ferris wheel.

1 scene in which Myles made Andy draw a horse, much to the audience’s amusement.

1 speech by Margaret Thatcher.

2 speeches by Boris Johnson, only one of which got a groan for one of Boris’s “funnies”.

1 speech by Spike Lee that caused a woman in the audience to exclaim “it’s exactly like that!”.

Lego0031 fact about ‘right to buy’ which made the audience audibly react.

1 joke which is only ever going to work for audiences in West Yorkshire.

1000s of pieces of Lego which were thrown across the stage during the final scene.

(11 audience members who stayed behind to help us clear up – and play with – the Lego)

The One Where We Learn Some Lessons (Life & Theatre)

Things we have learnt during rehearsal block two:

1. We really – really – should have aired the orange pop-up tent we took to Latitude at some point in the last 10 months. Not doing this meant a rather pleasant morning in a rehearsal room smelling of Dead Tent.

2. Under rehearsal room, rather than camping, conditions Andy and Charlie can make the above orange pop-up tent pop-down in 25 minutes. TWENTY FIVE MINUTES. Which is a good ten minutes more than our entire get-out time. They both, however, refer to the experience as “bonding” so we let it count as some sort of team exercise.

3. Andy is not distracted at all by the Les Mis soundtrack playing loudly (and on repeat) outside the rehearsal room window. Someone blasting out “The Age of Aquarius”, however, is entirely different.

4. The exercise “Tell the story to Corinne as if you’re both sitting in a pub” makes everything just that little bit funnier. Even when sober. Though also: all that more awkward at the end because, y’know, sober and someone (even though fictional) has just told you Something Important and Secret About Their Life. But it made us think about how we tell the story as well as why.

5. Paul is, as he develops, much more likeable than when we first started. He’s funnier and more self-assured and probably a little more ridiculous. This is all good.

6. Andy now does a little dance towards the end of the play. This makes all of us very happy indeed, particularly as it meant Charlie got to exclaim “Dance Andy, Dance!”.

7. There are lots of ways to tell this story. There are lots of different ways to tell each bit of the story. And some times we need to make clear that how we’re telling the story at a particular moment is a deliberate choice.

8. We spend a minimum of 18% of any break time discussing the relative merits of the available coffee.

9. Andy is some sort of line learning fiend. Those 7, 144 words – IN THE RIGHT ORDER. Though Charlie and I only notice when a line is missed if it is a joke (see: writer ego).

10. (Slightly sappy sentence alert) Despite the time pressures we’re properly, properly enjoying making this play. There have been more group hugs than is entirely seemly.

And we didn’t learn this in the rehearsal room but we did on our evening outing to Greenwich Picturehouse:

11. None of us really like Captain Kirk.

We should also say a big thank you to The Albany whose support meant it was possible for us to have a dedicated rehearsal space for the week. Rehearsal block three (our final extended rehearsal period, eek) is taking place in Bristol (possibly as you read this…). Which means in just over a week we’ll be opening…

The List of Things That Made WBN Happy (Scarborough Edition)

Last week we (Corinne, Estelle and our splendid actor Andy) took Reasons For Listing up to Scarborough as part of the Scarborough Literature Festival. In keeping with the piece, therefore, we’re going to document the experience via a list of things that made us happy…photo (21)

Corinne teaching Andy about what happens when you put caramel waffles on top of coffee.

Andy taking approximately 60 seconds to “improve” the process by speeding up insulation of said caramel waffle with the aid of a coffee cup lid.

Line runs in Coach F. East Coast Trains – you are welcome.

Completing the Guardian Quick Crossword between York and Malton (and only, possibly, making up one word).

Tea and coffee making facilities in our hotel room.

The sea! The sea!

The sea! The sea!

Andy spending five minutes taking a photo of himself taking a photo of the view.

Seaside chips.

Getting soaked by a wave on our first walk by the sea front (this possibly made Andy happier than Corinne who spent the next 60 seconds yelling  “THIS IS INAPPROPRIATE” impotently in the direction of the sea).

Yorkshire-priced rounds.

Andy and Corinne timing meeting Estelle’s train to perfection.

Finding a cooked breakfast for under four pounds. (Sensing a theme here?)

Scarborough Literature FestivalHow lovely and well organised Scarborough Central Library was, including bringing us lots of tea.

Finding Joseph’s desk by the window in the reference area.

Having ten minutes post line run to entertain ourselves with The Books. (Estelle went for checking our surnames in “Who was Who” whilst Andy found out the origins of the word “Bristol”)

Our audience. Including them being the first to, en masse, say “hello” back to Joseph.Reasons @ Scarborough Library

Everyone who took the time to stay around afterwards to tell us something that made them happy, ask questions and talk about Joseph.Things That Make Us Happy...

Corinne’s friend Val taking charge and finding us a coffee shop for, well, coffee and cake and suchlike when Corinne, Andy and Estelle were partaking in what can only be described as faffing.

Scones and Jam and Cream.

Estelle and Corinne being humoured by the woman behind a handmade chocolate counter when they spent five minutes choosing 7 chocolates to take back to London for Charlie.

The area of Scarborough which we labelled “the charity shop quarter” and where Estelle found a new jacket and Andy came down with full-on-consumer-fever caused by a pair of brogues and a copy of Pride and Prejudice.


Estelle’s face at discovering the name of the ice cream parlour on Scarborough seafront (one for the 10th Doctor fans…)photo (22)

And then finding the TARDIS…photo (28)

Tea and quiet time in the hotel.

MECCA (26)




Andy working out the “Bingo Maths”.

Going t’pub having not won anything at bingo and, for Andy and Corinne at least, partaking in MANY double shots of spirits.

Corinne getting the barman to agree to them staying in the pub a whole 40 minutes after he called last orders.

Going on a 1.00am adventure.

Standing on Scarborough beach at 1.15am and everything being just a little bit beautiful.

2.00am tea and trashy BBC3 tv.

Tea and teacakes for breakfast.

Spending too much time in a second hand book emporium.

Finally, finally, getting some proper Yorkshire fish and (31)

And, did we mention the sea?photo (18)