Opening night is complete. What a buzz. My fingernails are bitten to the quick. I took the executive decision last night to sit among the audience to laugh loudly at the places I thought they should be laughing. Just in case they needed any encouragement. It’s not that I am being arrogant. Or as delusional as the main character Maureen Moore is about the classiness of a leopard-print wardrobe. I was just nervous that they would sit there in stony faced silence and crush all my dreams by falling asleep. The house lights went down. The voiceover began.
‘Good evening ladies, gentlemen and others. Welcome to Firedoor Theatre’s production of Mother’s Little Treasure…’ I gulped and grasped the side of the seat in a vice-like grip. The show was on the road.
Naturally the audience ignored my opinions and made their own decisions as to where to laugh. But laugh they did. Blessed relief.
I knew a few people in the audience, one of whom I sat with. Every so often I would glance at her out of the side of my eye to see how she was reacting. This is a pointless exercise. The play is written, has been rehearsed and is being performed by the very fine actors. There is nothing more I can do. The audience will make up its own mind about the play regardless of how I plead with them internally to like it. Paranoia and worry wouldn’t let me accept this. Despite my calm expression I was a puddle of nerves. Luckily she was chuckling away to herself.
In O’Neill’s Bar after the show, we joined the cast. We asked her what she thought. She enjoyed it very much. Thanks to some feedback, there will be an adlib tonight to explain exactly who Monica is when the character is mentioned. I am the writer, so I have the mystical world of Raheny and Tenerife mapped out quite clearly in my head. I need to remember that the audience may need an explanation.
The rest of the week is going to fly by in a flash. There may be a few minor disasters and a couple of heart-stopping catastrophes along the way. As well a huge dollop of melodrama. Not to mention what will happen on stage during the performance. That’s the unparalleled magic of live theatre. This week is going to be an utter joy.
‘Mother’s Little Treasure’ runs every night this week until Saturday 1st September in the Pearse Centre, 27 Pearse Street, Dublin 2 (beside the Trinity City Hotel). Showtime is at 8pm. Doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets cost €15 and are available on the door, or at the link.