“SFX10 (‘Tiger Rag’) “HOW BAD IS IT DOC?”

Below is a guest blog post by Rob Stenson, Rhum and Clay’s stage manager/technician on the road:


It’s August 2012 and I’ve just walked out of the Bedlam Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe with a few friends having just seen A Strange Wild Song. I’m adamant that it’s one of the best shows I’ve seen at the Fringe (in both years that I’ve been up). So understand my excitement when, three months later, I get the chance to tech the show in Exeter. THEN understand my excitement when, another four months later, I get to go on tour with it. It’s not often that there’s scope for a company to invite a technician on tour with them, so I already feel like an incredibly lucky guy. And to no surprise, it’s been a great experience. With the tour being predominantly rural, it’s quite refreshing to be faced the various limitations that rural touring presents; lack of full-scale lighting and sound, wrong audio cables, smaller stages. But it’s nice. The other night, for example, we were limited to a six-channel lighting board. For a sixty-minute show with just under forty lighting cues, that’s quite a limitation. But we managed to make it work. Not having the use of a programmable desk and having to manually operate all lighting changes allowed me to engage with the piece on what felt like a whole other level. It was great. Being able to see how the guys work behind the scenes has also provided an amazing insight into how a professional company works. While watching them during research and development for their next show (which is going to be great, by the way), it’s fascinating to see the process they go through to develop the characters, the story and the narrative. Every conversation (even outside of the rehearsal room) somehow comes back to the show and its characters. Rest assured, the research has been thorough and the show is going to take the Fringe by storm come August. Me, being a technician, am about to exhaust my ability to write a mildly interesting blog post (I’m not good with words and not that witty), so I’ll wrap up like this: a big thanks to the guys (and Sarah, their producer) for inviting me on tour with them. And having seen the development of A Man in the Moone, I can tell it’s going to be a blast of an Edinburgh. (Oh yeah, they’ve invited me up there too).

Rob Stenson


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