We were ready to go ahead, keep going ahead until someone told us not to… and no one told us not to so there we were, each ready to set off from various locations around the country to travel to Cambridge, where Father Frost was to be performed.
And then two little lines on a piece of plastic told us that we couldn’t continue. It was time to unload the cars, pack away the vocal steamers and return to our sofas for a glass of wine, a selection box and maybe a little cry.
Little cry out of the way, we had to do what so many small and large theatre companies are doing at the moment; We had to let our venue and our audience know that the show was not going ahead and that we would not be sharing our precious little story with the world.
Under any other circumstances we would rely on doctor theatre to provide the necessary amount of adrenaline and endorphins to nurse us through – at various times members of our cast have performed through colds, flus, broken fingers and even gastroenteritis. And it was all okay. In fact more than just okay because theatre attracts the most resilient, hardworking, and dedicated people you could wish to meet.
But Covid is different and scary and uncertain and, though we would have loved to power through, we were not going to break the rules and put people at risk so it was simply not possible.
While it is devastating to see theatre struggling so terribly at the moment, it is incredible to see understudies, under-understudies and previous cast members stepping in and saving the day, time and time again. There is also a small comfort in that we are all in this together. If Sutton Foster has to take some time off, we can cut ourselves some slack too. We of course did not have understudies – small companies rarely do. We had a quick think about changing things up, bringing someone in but this is such a tight and complicated little ensemble piece that would have been terrifying and we might just have ended up compromising a step too far.
Please follow us on social media to keep informed of the master plans we have been plotting over the last few days. We will share this beautiful fairy story at some point and we will continue to plan and make work in the ways that we can until we come out the other side. Telling stories and creating connection is what we do.