Monday, 23 April 2012

Coming along.

A beautiful early spring now gives way to what promises to be a drought-busting deluge. It won't bust the drought of course. We will be told it is nowhere near enough and the disaster will remain close at hand, but we will nevertheless look gratefully to our roof to protect the carpenters, technicians and sundry other contractors from the Noah-like downpours as they put the theatre together.

The rain held off for most of the marathon yesterday which means James and Sarah had only to worry about aches and pains and not pneumonia as they admirably completed the course. Oddly enough, yesterday, as I was getting absolutely drenched on a walk back from the supermarket, I glanced at the time...1459. I knew that he was hoping to finish at a particular time which meant he was possibly getting drenched as he struggled through the final couple of kilometres. As it turned out, he was finishing at exactly that moment, the lucky boy! Sarah was a few minutes behind though..... A good few quid was raised for two charities as well so hopefully they will nurse their swollen feet and throbbing joints in the knowledge it was all for a good cause. Sarah can also worry about how she will face the next few weeks with pink hair.

This season promises to be one of the best ever and it gave us all a lift to hear that we have been shortlisted for a Royal Philharmonic Music Award in the concerts and festivals category. The 8th of May is the moment of truth.

As we prepare for this season we are, of course, looking well into the future as our transition board investigates the concept of separation from the council. There is a huge amount to be done and some quite complex planning to be gone through. It is frustrating to hear people dilly-dally (ludicrously in some cases) with the facts and it is probably a mark of the times that such a transition brings negative thoughts to mind first. It shouldn't. Not in this case. We also have our 2013 season on the wall and I doubt there will have been a season that better encapsulates what OHP is about. We will open and close the season with productions that are pure OHP and we will publish full details very soon. For crossword fans, a (simple) clue; lupine fast cars.

The theatre is about 70% complete and we have some superb new structures this year with a whole host of aesthetic enhancements. As I have frequently said, the trick is to create a space that offers the best of the outdoor "experience" whilst mitgating against the worst. Despite a few problems and delays we have still managed to get the seating structure up in record time and we are being very precise with our contractors, both financially and from the scheduling point of view. The build is a little more urgent because we open a stunning literary festival on 18th May organised by those fine people at Ways with Words. It really is a sensational line up, possibly one of the best of any literary festival this summer and booking for it is open right now. At the end of the season we have lots of cinema events to look forward to as well.

You are so spoilt.