‘Somebody took my shoe polish!’ Sept. 27th

So I approach the van, the sick feeling in my stomach getting stronger.  The driver’s side window is open.  Wide, wide open…but…no glass on the road…no glass anywhere…is anything stolen? Vandalised?  Any visible attempt to start the van?  And more to the point, have they tampered with my Leonard Cohen CDs?  No.  Everything is in order.  There is no ‘they’ I realise.  Just a ‘he’ – HE did it.  Well, let’s ‘fess up. Me. I did it. Opened the window wide while reversing into a tight spot late last night, then got out, locked up, forgetting to close the window.  How could I remember 75 minutes of densely-packed text without a flaw but forget to do something so basic as close the bloomin’ window!?

Why no-one did take the van or try to take it remains a mystery to me – or maybe a sign?  A lucky omen right at the start of the tour…warning me to take a little more care from here on in.  But why didn’t anyone take my Leonard Cohen CDs, sitting there on the passenger seat?  He rocks, man! In his post-monastery, deep growling Old-Testament-prophet-voiced latter years, he rocks…

I go into the theatre later, such a feeling of relief flooding through me, only to find…the cleaners have taken my shoe-polish! I start to get this incredibly miffed-sensation rising in my stomach, when I stop, step back and find a little perspective. So they took your shoe polish (by mistake) – NO-ONE TOOK YOUR VAN!!

Smaller audience that night but still a very engaged one, and another great post-show talk – (but no-one under the age of about 45 it seemed) – then I headed next morning to Hull, City of Culture, via Bristol…Bristol Cathedral, in fact; the very old and beautiful Elder Lady Chapel in Bristol Cathedral, in fact; where I will perform the piece on Oct. 27th as part of the Refusing To Kill exhibition there.

A very different space (and acoustic) from a theatre studio, but so atmospheric.  I talk to Naomi, organising the performance, about the staging, and ask if it will be okay that an army sergeant or two has a bit of rather bad language at one point.  She will check with the Dean, she says.  I then mention the point in the play when the COs endure a rather barbaric army punishment, involving being tied up to a fence, arms outstretched, for hours on end, commonly known as ‘crucifixion’.  ‘Where will that take place, staging-wise?’ she asks, rather anxiously.  ‘Erm, probably there, in front of the altar.’ ‘That, I will definitely have to run past the Dean.’

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