This Evil Thing: one and a half weeks to go – Bible and the Spud

July 22nd
Hard at work, running chunks of the play now, and indeed the whole play, and although I know all the lines (AND, I think, am saying them in the right order), there is still the little matter of the choreography of the crates to master – the nine wooden crates that are now playing such an integral part in the production.

When the action of the play shifts to France, I have to move them from where they have been assembled to suggest a prison cell in Richmond Castle, to create a French pier or jetty, while some evocative accordion music plays. It’s almost like doing a dance…but myself and director Ros Hutt soon realise there isn’t quite enough music in which to achieve this ‘scene-change’ … so Ros suggests ten seconds more of accordion. But the play is already a minute or two over its allotted length of 75 minutes for Edinburgh, so I say, ‘Let me try it with just five seconds more,’ – and that does seem to solve the problem. Apart from Bible and the spud.

In the prison cell scene there are two significant objects – a large potato that Bert Brocklesby, conscientious objector, declines to peel, and his small Bible that he has been allowed to keep with him. I am taking too much time clearing each item away separately, until Ros and I realise that the best solution is if I pick up the Bible and potato together and whisk them off with the smallest crate – placing them down where they can be seen by the audience, still resonating with the part they played in the previous scene. When we run the scene change again, with the extra five seconds of accordion, all goes swimmingly until the last moment when I put the two props in the wrong place. I hear Ros calling out to prompt me – ‘Bible and the spud!’

We agree that would make a great name for an American hillbilly folk duo.

Tickets for THIS EVIL THING now on sale here.

Flyer for THIS EVIL THING below

Michael Mears

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