At last some time to tell you about Vault Festival. It was unusual.
We were visiting the States prior to the Festival, so I found myself rehearsing in a garden in Los Angeles in the first week of February (once interrupted by a bunch of police men looking for a drug dealer… their armed presence introduced a certain edge to the performance that I have failed to recreate since.)
I arrived in London sleep deprived with wonderful jet lag. (I was watching Whiplash again on the flight. What a movie!). The Austrian Cultural Forum was so kind to give me a home during the run, but it also meant that the first thing I saw of London was a bunch of tourists when I got out of the tube at Harrods. (Felt like a very different kind of Whiplash.) But once you handle tourists on a shopping spree, you can handle anything. Almost.
Festivals are many things. Fun, exciting and terrifying.
It’s fun. I love Das Spiel. I loved performing it again. It felt like putting on an old suit that fits really well.
Tom Waits was once mumbling about putting food and a change of clothes in a song. I am still not sure, what that means. But. I found some snacks in the show. Moments where the show runs and I get to take a breath and enjoy the view. Moments that are just between me and the show and the audience doesn’t know about. Seems strange, but it’s like sharing an intimate moment with an old friend and a hundred people are watching and they don’t know what’s going on. (Nobody told me at drama school.)
It’s exciting. 60 minutes before opening we found out that a crucial part of the show was not working. Of course it worked perfectly during tech AND dress rehearsal. We came up with a plan B. Not as good as plan A, but unless you’ve seen the other version, you don’t know what you are missing. (They don’t tell you at the theatre: The things you might be missing. And you don’t even know it. I guess the tree is not falling, if no one knows it’s falling.) We fixed it for the second night…
It’s terrifying. We needed to sell a lot of tickets in order to break even. I was (a bit) worried, since the Cage had twice the capacity of the space at Ovalhouse last year, but I worried for no reason. (Like I mostly do.) We managed to sell-out every night mainly due to word-of-mouth of the people that came to see the show. Of course I did not know that at the beginning…
What I did know at the beginning: Early morning rehearsals and jet lag are a devilish combination. And if I don’t get to sleep enough, my voice starts to go out. Not a nice feeling, if you know you have another 5 shows to play and they keep increasing the audience capacity… But the voice came back. Every night.
It’s good that a festival is many things. Like life. I’m very pleased with the run and I’m ready for a new show, ready to explore new things…
Das Spiel also got this, which makes me proud and happy: The People’s Choice Award. It came with a fancy image:
Das Spiel was developed with support from Yard Theatre and Ovalhouse London.
Thank you to the Austrian Cultural Forum London for supporting the run at Vault Festival.