Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Getting in in Shanghai

The get-in in Shanghai was quite unusual. I was introduced first to the technical manager, then to the stage manager, and then to the lighting designer of the theatre, a very trendy looking man whose English name I forgot. But he was the one who'd be doing lights with me. He went through the lighting plan with me and then said he would get the workers to move some lights.

So three little old men appeared with a talloscope and a ladder and they moved some lights.

Then I wanted to get on with focusing lights, but apparently first the projector had to be installed by the three men. They rigged it (one on the talloscope, two moving it around at the bottom). Then another man focused it and wired it up.

Finally it was time for lights. The trendy man was nowhere to be seen, but the stage manager and a woman sat behind the lighting desk. The woman was also the translator.
I was one stage, asking for various lighting channels, the light would come on and the three little men moved the ladder and focused. They didn't speak English, though, so whatever I wanted went through the woman, who translated it to the stage manager, who told the three men what to do. And they carried on telling each other.

So there were constantly 5 people talking to each other in Chinese, and I would talk through them, into the darkness of the auditorium, hoping the woman could hear me. More often than not she did, and what I asked for happened, almost miraculously. Sometimes she didn't, and then I would just wait until I knew for sure that she hadn't heard me, and try again.

It might not seem like it, but it did actually go quite fast. And only once did I ask for something again when they had heard me, but where discussing what it was I asked for.

After a while I thought I'd understood what 'smaller' was in Chinese, so I tried it out, but it didn't work. It's clearly not as easy as that.

Today Iva got very ill and we had to cancel the show. She's in hospital with a stomach infection and we all hope she'll be better soon. The rest of us are fine, so we can't work out what it was she ate.
They offered the audience tickets for another night, so we hope everyone can still see the show later this week.

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