The nicest thing about tonight’s preview - aside from the fact it went ahead - was that some of my ex-students came to see it.
I’d clocked their name on the booking list for the previous Actors’ Temple show, which we ended up having to pull, and wondered if it was them (their surname rivals mine for its unusualness) so I was particularly pleased they were able to make the rescheduled date; it’s lovely when someone goes to trouble of booking - let alone planning to travel into town specifically to see you - that you hate to be the reason it doesn't go ahead.
They enjoyed the show, which was a compliment as they were always very funny themselves. They were the first to put their hand up for any improv game I set and they always made me laugh. Their class was full of talent, and the keenness they injected into proceedings made the job a lot of fun.
The show was fairly good and was certainly very useful, even when putting tearful reunions to one side. The set-up was frenetic and left me little time to get into the right mindset or to look through my notes, but I settled into things pretty quickly once I’d kicked off. It’s still the ending that needs the most work, but I know what I want to do with it. It’s a shame I didn’t have my two most-favoured outside eyes in to watch it (well, four eyes, strictly speaking) but my PR was there, so I’ll look forward to hearing his thoughts in the week.
Norman Lovett closed the night and was on great form. I came off in the interval to find him in the dressing room, a picture of relaxed contentment at complete odds to my sweaty post-show state. He told me how he very nearly walked through the wrong door when he arrived and onto the stage in the middle of my set, which would have been a welcome addition; it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been in a double act.
Before he went on he said he’d probably do thirty minutes at most, but the audience were so on-side he ended up doing an hour, even incorporating my Leopold Fechtner joke book (which I'd left on stage) along the way. It’s a testament to his delivery that he even managed to get laughs out of it; there aren't many people on the planet who can say they've done that.