A second evening at Ham and the first full run. Whilst the company set up I had a final briefing with Gabe and Gary to ensure all the health, safety and public liability issues had been solved and to do a final walk through. We're still eight stewards down and will need to do some more recruiting in the gaps between now and Saturday. In all we need twenty five. On one level it's a tiny thing, but unfortunately it's potentially disastrous and could bring the whole process grinding to a halt. Some frantic, pleading texting from the company brought us another four by close of play, and a few more 'get back to yous' so we should be alright. Gabe is also looking into see if any National Trust volunteers might be up for it.
Most of the ushers were here tonight though, which gave them the chance to have a sneak preview and provide us with a first audience.
The run went wonderfully well; the company had really assimilated the notes form last night and seemed encouraged to play with much greater freedom. New laughs were found and familiar jokes given a new lease of life. Ben and his group of minstrels, quickly caught the spirit and layered in an underscored soundtrack of Wah wah wahs! farts and snatches of theme tune from famous movies.
This is a group of students very much on their mettle now and the joy with which they're tackling both the text and the site specific possibilities is infectious.
All done we tidied up the gardens, loaded the van, which has now become an exact and efficient ritual, before heading home. Ham is as ready as it could be - onto Sutton in the morning.