The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Monday, 31 October 1988

'Macbeth' at the Red Mount



‘Because You’re Young’ – David Bowie



Justine and I spoke extremely briefly, but our ‘situation’ was not discussed.  Even so, she came to see me in the outdoor MACBETH.

Today felt tremendously nerve-wracking. 


After speaking too, too briefly with Justine, I went and made up and put my costume together to rehearse MACBETH, technically.  The atmosphere was great, but I felt it was going to be tremendously cold tonight.  AND IT WAS.


One of our final jobs was to tie the banners to the outdoor stage.  This completed the Set Team’s work on the sets, and meant we spent money on a ball of string.  Amazingly, the Set Design + Construction Team have brought in the cost of the stage and sets well under budget.  We originally predicted £35, but managed it on £1.49 – the cost of the string.


Larry Goodgirl and the dancers were concerned about the planks that are being used on the floor of the outdoor stage.  They requested a plywood covering be laid, but this would simply be far too expensive.  Once we had managed to readjust a jagged plank, I convinced them that the planks would actually be safer than plywood if the stage got wet or frosty.  Plywood would be slippery, the planks wouldn’t.


‘O Fortuna’ – Carl Orff


This evening, before the show, I made my first TV appearance on the news, as we all saw ourselves on YTV’s Calendar.


‘At Norcat we are keen to provide students with a full range of opportunities in the Performing Arts.  We encourage them to direct, market, light and stage manage productions, as well as act.  Our new National Diploma course, which started in September, reflects the great range on offer for young people who are serious about a career in theatre.  This course is the first of its kind in Eastern England.  I believe it demonstrates our commitment to improving standards of theatre training in the region.

I hope you have a pleasant evening.

Larry Goodgirl’


‘WaltzInBlack’ – The Stranglers


The performance felt so beautifully awesome, despite extreme weather conditions of frost and mist – but that only added to the atmosphere of the event.  We were generally beautiful and warm under the hot lighting rig – well, until I had to remove my shirt.



Playing Duncan seemed suddenly difficult, because of the weather, particularly when ‘playing dead’ and hoping that visible breath vapour was not emanating from my lungs.  It was, even so, a valuable experience in physical endurance.



The performance will be imprinted on my memory forever: the freezing weather, the 300-strong audience who had braved, and were naked to, the elements (including Justine!), and the frozen stage-boards underneath my shirtless back as I lay ‘dead’.  The co-operation between all groups, departments and actors was tremendous – but it was SO BLOODY COLD!!!  Red Mount Chapel was ace, and when we weren’t on stage, we were in there – in the dark – huddling together for warmth because it was extremely cold.



Good old Charlotte Kneale.


It was sad that towards the back of the audience, a local element of undesirable local youths turned up to jeer, take the piss and throw fireworks.  We on stage were totally unaffected, but apparently some of the audience were.


‘Tonight I’m Yours’ – Rod Stewart


Justine came to see it, but it was sad that I never spoke to her there, before or after – it was just impossible.  Even so, something ace happened during the interval.  Stage Management came in to tell me that ‘Nat’ was there.  It was ace, cos it turned out to be Natalia Wnek + Sandy who had come all the way from Outwell to see the flipping thing!  That was lovely, and afterwards, we chatted ever so briefly.


Many thanks to Mrs Baker, Una + Rhoda’s (and Rachel’s!) mum, for the lift back into Wisbech tonight.


A lovely end to the month.



[Images subject to control of individual Copyright Holders including works originated by Elton Townend Jones, but excluding any images or design attributed to ‘The Situation’ which are copyright of The Situation (see specific acknowledgements in the ‘Thanks to…’section below) / ‘Berwin Groomstool’ is an iteration of the Situation character‘William Whicker’ and falls under joint copyright of Elton Townend Jones and Waen Shepherd / Based on true events and designed as a study of parochial British cultural and emotional life in the late 20th century, this blog is a work of fiction – cultural icons excluded, all characters and incidents featured are entirely fictional / This blog is non-profit; all video clips are used for illustrative purposes and always come from YouTube / No copyright infringement is intended – just trying to get things into context. Never forget: no man is an island. If you think anything I’ve used is damaging you in any way, please comment and immediate action will be taken to minimise offence / This notice was amended on 1 July 2012 and is intended to cover this and all posts on that precede it]


Next time: ‘More Macbeth…’

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