The past two weeks have been productive and very hard work for Stu and Kasete, his oppo and our deputy house manager but they have done very well. They nor any of the contractors working on site probably need me prowling around scrutinising every screw, line, cut and joint but they have been tolerant (although on-the- hoof decisions tend to get made when they are needed). This whole process of change has been a cycle of solving one issue and creating another but the road might now have straightened out. Yesterday (with Kasete in the Charlie Dimmock role of doing the work and me in the Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen role of mincing about with the aesthetic eye) we spent an hour arranging olive trees in pots around the perimeters of various facilities. That is something we normally do two hours before curtain up on the first night so it has to count as progress. We also made the momentous decision to paint four of the support legs of the mezzanine so that they match the colour of the seating structure they abut. Such things, as I have oft repeated, matter! Henceforth, all is detail and I hope we don't over-egg the pudding.
James is in full-on producer mode dealing with last minute problems of casting and the flicking tail of a volcanic cloud that is slowing the arrival of Europe based singers for the start of music rehearsals on Monday. He could do without it for sure but I think sometimes he couldn't really do without it if you know what I mean? He and the company have always flourished in adversity so the bigger the problems he describes, the more sanguine I tend to get; history tells me that the success of the outcome is directly proportional to the depth of the abyss we have peered into. Is that the mark of a good outfit? I like to think so. The challenges of Pelleas, our opening production, offer the most tantalising results, for example. And with that in mind we sit down soon to finalise the 2012 season.