Sunday, 27 May 2007

Testing, testing....

The fist audience steps through the gate of OHP on Wednesday for the 'Test night'. And it has been a monstrously wet Bank Holiday weekend so that will make some of the finishing groundworks a little trickier. The visitors will find a two thirds completed theatre - sans bits of screening, cladding and organic finishings. But it will be usable and great to look at. As the picture at the top shows, the seats are in and seem a million miles away from those our patrons will have been used to at OHP.

It really has been like pulling teeth watching the elements of the theatre coming together. With all this new equipment and structure, adjustments are always being made and the contractors are learning the reality of the building on the ground. But, inexorably, with every day, the work is being completed. After the first night, we will have a week to put all the final touches into place and then it really will be a most stirring sight.

Productions are on stage and working through technical rehearsal, sets are being built and adjusted and suddenly, OHP is back in business. Amazingly (and satisfyingly) we have immediately noticed that the intimacy of the theatre for which we were so renowned, has not been diminished. And the acoustic is good!

I'm not sure how it will all feel as "Va pensiero' floods across the theatre for the first time on the 5th June. It has been a long and hard road, with setbacks, doubts and several unrelated personal anxieties littering the way. I'm not beyond nor above admitting the heat of it all has been withering from time to time. I can't foresee it being anything but a hugely emotional moment so it may be wise to find a private spot.