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48 Hour Madness Part 2 - and you thought I had forgotten!

Props, or properties, are an essential part of most productions. On the whole things that are not the actors, their clothing or the set are counted as props. My play didn’t require elaborate clothing. It was set at a holiday park – shorts and T-shirts are the going fashion. But the props!

Whoever wrote a play that required 2 tents – full size and functioning, camping chairs and tables and Thor’s hammer – did I mention that all the characters were ancient gods and goddesses? – had to be crazy. Yes, that was me.

Our tents were only the easy to erect, can get a double mattress in and nothing else kind, but storing them on the side of stage, ready to go in the ten minutes allowed between one play finishing and the next starting was a mission. Luckily the stage had a large scene dock attached

otherwise we would have been sunk. Non-erect tents just wouldn’t work as the cast had to go in and out of them – blame the writer – and there was no time to put them up. Still, dragging tents on and off-stage was a work of art with several near catastrophes resulting, especially as the people from the play before us were trying to get their masterpieces off at the same time.

At the end of the 48 hours the plays had to be performed. Surprisingly all the plays were performed with gusto and no prompting – shows what you can do when panic is the ruling emotion. The audience was enthusiastic and appeared to enjoy them all.

It’s always surprising when the same instructions given to four writers can produce such different results. It’s fascinating.

At the end we were all exhausted, amazed at what we’d achieved, a happy band of thespians and all vowing when the next one came round – we’d do it again.

Actors and writers really do have the insanity gene.

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