After the big tidy-up............
I’m back at the Steven Joseph Theatre (SJT), Scarborough. No scenery building this time – I’m now tasked with building 8 large (6’ x 3’) cabinets. Apparently, the official theatre historian needs more space for archiving old scripts, incomprehensible rehearsal notes, and signed photos of (now) unknown actors. It occurs to me that Frank’s not the only pack rat round here and that the SJT better have good fire insurance.
In consideration of the fact that the alternative is a return to a state of worklessness, and aware that probably sooner rather than much later, I’ll need the money I earn to pay the Fire Brigade to get Calli, the demon cat, down from a particularly high tree, I spend the journey to Scarborough convincing myself that it is possible to build office-quality furniture in Frank’s shop.
On-site, as I’m moving another piece of congealed plywood to access the broom, I’m still in “Visualize, then talk yourself through the problem, believe, you can do this” mode. Cognitive therapy was one of the best things I ever did. Broom obtained, I start to sweep the work area I’ve claimed. The broom head falls off. Frank observes “Oh, its been like that for years, been meaning to fix it, but I never use the bloody thing”.
After work, I go for a drink with an old pal, Bob. Bob’s a Director, very experienced, very, very nice man, talented and connected, and his conversation is littered with references to people he knows –many of them quite famous. He’s not name dropping – theatre is Bob’s work environment, but I’m a bit intimidated, because I’m still feeling like an ingénue in England, so I get as many references to Nel’s new career into the conversation as I can “Oh, yeah Bob, Elvis Presley sounds like a great guy. Did’nt he come from Dunston Basset, or Scotland or London or somewhere? You know, my wife, the neuroscientist, now a lecturer, probably passed within 50 miles of one of those places when she was going for her professorial job interview. ” Or “Yeah, I still enjoy working in Theatre – not like my wife, Dr Mary Ellen Large BSc MSc PhD, the recent appointee as Professor of Neuroscience at University of Hull – no, she says she’ll never go back to sewing costumes in the theatre now, she’s going to give this whole Professor thing a go – see if the old Neuroscience suits her better than Theatre Wardrobe”.
After a pint though, I relax – Bob is great company, and crucially, has not asked the question (which usually sparks my aggressively defensive lauding of Nel’s new job) “Why did you come back here? From Canada? Good God”. We swap some gossip, Bob heads of to a party, and I head off to Hull,where I promptly loose my wallet, plunging the next day into total chaos.
Two further parts to this post - "Scarborough Revisited" will follow.....