Dec 2nd – Field and fountain, moor and mountain, Following yonder star.

Cleaned myself: In a stable, let it go where you stand.
Monkey see, monkey do: too much on my mind.
Tics: Please God forgive me, has resurfaced.
Believe in God? It’s hard to say.
YTLH: Trouble is brewing.

The dress rehearsal is in the can. It hasn’t yet been seen by the public, but the recording has been pored over by the insiders. What can I say? It’s shit.

“Behold yonder star in the East.”

“But we live in the East, don’t we?”

Dog’s Bowl Beer came round and set up three cameras, brought a lighting guy, and provided a sound system. Everything felt a grade more professional as we went into it, but watching it back, it just looked like any other nativity play in a middle eastern setting, but with adults replacing the children, clumping about in an empty, echoey public hall. In one sense that is good, because you are not drawn to the blasphemous dialogue, and the songs just sound like distant jolly noises, with lyrics that are of no matter. Then it goes into a finale that appears to be all about the celebration of Christmas, with the added extra of a mob assault on a facsimile of the Prime Minister. I imagine most locals will watch it and consider it a commendable effort in the circumstances, and one which leaves you with a nice uplifting Christmassy feeling at the end, instead of what it is: the deconstruction of the human race, observed through its self-made catastrophes and pathetic, ill-considered fidelity to the bible as a moral code. But as I say, all that’s not really coming across in the production as it stands currently.

It’s a familiar feeling this, having sweated over so many fine details for so long, only to produce something no better than a six-year-old might organise at playtime. It’s a bit like working in an office for a big company, or the government, and going through six months of disruption to instal a new software system that ends up leaving things exactly as they were, whilst removing what little morsels of joy remained in the job.

What? We all have to sleep in the stable?

It makes me realise what it means to have talent in this area; to be able to construct something which has a big, bold, certainty and clarity about its staging. I suppose that in part is because we are all practiced at thinking of ourselves in terms of living in a film, instead of framing our lives as a theatre director would. Look at Big Eggo – he’s a big-picture simpleton and seems to coast through an untroubled life, whereas I seem to live like a mumbling pseudo intellectual in the background of a Jean-Luc Godard movie.

Things can be tweaked, and the Dog’s Bowl technicians are going to do more with close ups, and they’re also going to ‘clean up’ the sound before we go to live streaming in a couple of days. I should take the lead in directing these changes, but besides having nothing to contribute, I seem already to have acceded to their authority in such matters.