Tuesday 21 June 2016

Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall...

...Or so Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and various others would have us believe.  If that is the case, I think everyone involved in Robin Hood at the London Wetland Centre had sufficient rain to last an entire lifetime falling into their lives last Thursday!

A genuine 'wrath of God' style rainstorm not only interrupted the first performance but soaked a number of our valiant actors (and several of the audience) to the skin within moments, while the lightning threatened to electrocute several others who were standing in a big metal box (our Prison set), in possession of big metal sticks (colloquially known as 'swords'), staring in apprehensive disbelief at the swiftly rising tide!

With the exception of there being a little more daylight than is shown, this gif is an entirely accurate representation of the weather we endured - if anything, it's a little milder than the storm that quickly flooded so many of the Wetland Centre's paths and pools!

Being my first open air production, this was the moment I had truly been dreading - the time when, despite the best will and the most encouraging clichés in the world, the show simply could not go on any longer.  At least not for a while...

Thankfully, however, we are lucky enough to have a stage management team for whom no obstacle is too large to overcome and, while the ever-adaptable actors and I were running through a very quick rehearsal in a new indoor space, they speedily set about creating some simple but evocative sets in opposing corners of the large, and aptly named, Water's Edge Room.

A few waterlogged audience members did go home between the two shows but those who stayed were extremely vocal in their appreciation of the indoor version of the show, and wonderfully supportive and uncomplaining.  Some of them are due to return for a second viewing of Robin Hood this week, when they will hopefully be able to see it performed outside against the various Wetland backdrops, just as it should be seen.  We will, however, always be very grateful to everyone - cast, crew and audience alike - who helped to turn an evening that could have been a total washout in every sense of the word into something of true triumph against all the odds! :-D

Robin Hood is on at the London Wetland Centre on Thursday and Friday evenings at 6.30pm and 8.15pm until July 1st 2016.  Get your tickets here: www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/london/whats-on/2016/06/09/robin-hood

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