The Fainting Routine

3 May 2007
Dropping like flies during rehearsals

In Brussels already for the opening of That Night Follows Day. All looking good so far. The fact that we had to make decisions about text (and almost everything else) months ago so that the kids could have fair chance to learn it and feel confident, means that things for us have been pretty relaxed in this final period. The kids are doing an amazing job. Last night’s rehearsal was kind of weird though because throughout it the kids were dropping like flies with minor variations on the old ‘stomach bug’ and ‘it’s hot in here I am fainting’ routine. Started the run with 17 onstage (how it should be) but within twenty minutes we were down to 15 and ten minutes later down to 13. As the last of these left the stage clutching his stomach I think I let out an audible ‘Christ’ – fearing I guess that soon we’d be down to a mere handful of kids in the lines, all of them tottering on the edge of hysterical/sympathetic collapse.

Things picked up after a while though and by the end we were back to 15 onstage, the other two lain down in the dressing rooms. Post run-through there was a photo-shoot for which, by some magic, everyone managed to be well.