Three Show Day
Here I am again, though not as I’d been told to expect.
I’m sure that I signed to a contract that stipulated:
One show Manny
One show Ellie
One show off
So how come I get to be Manny for three shows and then have two hours of repairs after the wider cast has gone back to the hotel, feeling they’ve fully accomplished and I’m left feeling that I’ve merely survived?
Answer: my understudy was so euphoric that he managed to get through the last show yesterday, that today he went into meltdown… this does not bode well.
As Krystina said when she passed me in the darkened backstage hours later… the old people are still here.
In the whole history of Ice Age Live, it was me who performed Manny… on all occasions, in all shows, but today was different.
I donned the black hotsuit and strapped in only two out of the three times… for the third, my understudy took my hallowed place. It’s the way things have to be, if the show is to go on.
Watching was not relaxing and the list of details is endless… not least, that afterwards, I had to carry out directly attributable repairs. Though I seem to use force, I also understand when not too.
Put my bag in the hold of the bus by 7am… Bowler on seat, to assure my place (selfish but necessary)
Aching from five shows straight, these seats will bring on the cramp, with two, I can at least stretch out.
Back roads across Lithuania… a rural fairground ride, passing many one room shacks.
No border control with Latvia, no slowing down even, we are moving well.
09:00, we stop for a brief respite… cigarette break for the usual puffers, comfort break for all.
The one toilet in the petrol station hadn’t expected to accommodate the first movements of seventy plus and the single roll of paper doesn’t last. Those who can, head for the trees. The girls are unamused.
By 13:45 pm we’re at the Latvian/Russian border, I’d expected snow.
Everything stops, save the unsmiling bureaucratic process.
Armed officers board and check passports, storage areas, spaces for contraband.
We are allowed to pass.
Fifty meters through no-man’s-land and we’re at the beginning of Russia.
All off the bus, plus luggage, document check, no smiling.
Dogs are sent into the hold, searching for whatever, wagging, rewarded for sniffing, nothing found.
It’s now 17:30pm and we’re still here, though most of us are the other side of the barrier… not everyone however… Leo and Fifi are to be left in Latvia, some visa issue (Chilean and Venezuelan respectively).
Getting it right for fifteen nationalities is a trick the often fails.
There were at least wipe equipped toilets.
19:30 some of our trucks pass… a small cheer goes around. It looks at least that we’ll have the pieces in St Petersburg.
20:11 Harald & Jana (translation fell on deaf ears) get back on the bus and now we begin the drive to St Petersburg.
Just six hours to go.
02:30ish arrive in lobby of proper hotel… none of the Ibis shit.
Under covers by 04:00