Last weekend, we (the Errollyn Wallen Company) took Cautionary Tales to the Latitude Festival. The gods were kind to us, as we were performing on Sunday morning and the torrential rain fell during Saturday night rather than while we were singing. I had taken the advice of festival veterans and stocked up on wellies, which turned out to be the best decision of this year, as it was pretty swampy inside and out of the Theatre tent.
We knew that a certain amount of improvisation would be required on the day, given that we had a one-hour get-in. Sure enough, by the time we had hoisted bits of set, costume rails and percussion onto the stage, stuck down a few essential bits of marker tape, done a speedy sound-check and established a basic lighting state, it was time to actually do it. Happily the audience and promoter loved it.
I think it’s fair to say it was one of the sweatier gigs I have done – the rain had done nothing to clear the air and jumping about as a hyperactive child, in various layers of extra clothing and inside a warm tent, is a sure fire way to shed a few pounds quickly.
However, there is no greater pleasure than working with colleagues who are prepared to play on-stage and who enjoy sorting out a challenge – if ever a piece licensed play and in-the-moment creativity, Cautionary Tales is it. Huge characters to inhabit, funny, characterful music and, best of all, a huge pink telephone. My 2014 Best Prop Award goes to Isolde Nash, our designer.
If you would like to watch a terrific video summary of the project, including footage from the performance itself, click here.
There is also a project blog on Errollyn’s website with more photos and posts from other team members.