It was decided some time ago that as part of the ‘Mouse PO Depot Wellbeing Initiative’ the depot would hold a film night once a month in order to promote community cohesion and relaxation amongst the workers. Ronnie and Reggie’s choice at the beginning of October ‘Night of the Egyptian Fur Eating Zombies’ wasn’t particularly relaxing but well received by the majority of mice in the depot and certainly got us all in the Halloween spirit for the month of October.
Most mice, having only achieved a few hours of uninterrupted sleep that night, didn’t particularly welcome Ronnie and Reggie still being in full zombie mode the next morning. After coming across a box of out-of-date bandages whilst looking for a plaster in the medical room, a plan was hatched to spend most of the day scaring the wits out of as many workers as possible, and by all accounts it was all going quite well until they got busted by Gertrude who told them to stop pissing about and get back to work.
A peripheral glimpse of Ronnie lurching through the reception door and into the offices gave me a chance to test my lightening reflexes with an impressive vertical baked bean fueled bolt onto the top of the book shelves, and it was there that I found a forgotten box of old theatre ephemera that inspired Millie to organise a production of The Scottish Play for Halloween.
I’m sending a sketch of us in rehearsals before our opening night on the 31st. Millie, Gertrude and Maureen are playing the old crones, Maureen boiled up a special dye using cabbage and brussel sprouts, which although effective, is as yet showing no signs of washing out any time soon. We’re pretty much sticking to the original script with the one exception of Banquo’s entrance which is down to Ronnie insisting that he fly onto the stage rather than walk. Whilst Ronnie is emphatically of the opinion that the change of plan is due to Shakespeare getting his stage direction all wrong, I personally think it has more to do with Ronnie missing out on the part of Tinker Bell in last year’s Christmas panto.
Not being much of an actor myself I decided to volunteer for set production duties, which, apart from nearly being knocked off the ladder and into the crones cauldron by a flying Banquo, has been a most enjoyable experience. The depot Cub Scouts are really excited about being able to stay up late on a school night to watch the production and after having had special access to rehearsals as part of their Theatre Studies badge reckon that October has been a really good month.
Hope you have a fun Halloween!
Some readers from other parts of the world may not know that the British have a long tradition of being superstitious when it comes to just about everything. Our daily luck can turn on a sixpence depending upon how many magpies we see on our way to work or whether a black cat decides to cross our path on the way to the bus stop. The theatre is no different to the outside world and it is here that no man, woman or beast dare utter the name Macbeth during any other time than when rehearsing their lines or performing the actual play for fear of the curse of The Scottish Play coming upon them. The origins of the curse have long been argued and perhaps go down as one of life’s great mysteries, much like that of the question Ronnie and Reggie found themselves asking this week, that of “How the hell do you get out-of-date bandages?”
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