We just finished the mammoth task of recording six adaptations of the Grimm stories (A Very Grimm Christmas at The Roundhouse). One thing that really struck me about the project was how it wouldn’t have worked without teamwork. Sharing of tasks, clean and courteous communication and a lot of pleasant hard work. I learned a lot personally in this very area. As a tragic control freak I have always taken it upon myself to try and do absolutely everything involved in getting a show together – radio play, theatre, short film. Allowing others to do their jobs unhindered is the only way to move on and grow as a director. This project has fully demonstrated this to me. The team of TK, Matt (sound) and Gareth (lighting) were phenomenal in their workload and unflappable at all times.
This made me think of the people I rely on an a writer and director and made me want to share with you who they are, how they contribute and how important it is to me. Firstly there is David Beck. Many Wireless Theatre Company downloaders will recognise him as an actor – The Youth Of Old Age and 2010 Space Commander spring to mind as well doing an amazing job as George the Dog in The Piper And Musicians of Bremen. David does an incredible and totally thankless job behind the scenes for me. He is always the first person to hear a potential idea for a script, and the first to read it and tell me what’s wrong with it. I trust him completely to say what he thinks. This is so valuable for any writer. He’s also brilliant to have in a rehearsal situation as well, because at times when directing I may lose my way, or not be fully confident in a decision and it’s great to have someone to bounce off. Plus, he knows so much about theatre and has a keen eye for directing himself, as demonstrated in his version of The Robber Bridegroom.
A close second would be Mariele Runacre Temple. She wears many hats and it would be fair to say that our relationship over the years working on projects for Wireless has been constantly exciting, challenging and close to life threatening. She consistently demonstrates a focus and passion for the pushing of the company and the art form of radio drama that can be quite terrifying. It’s so easy to feed off this enthusiasm and it makes the experience tense and the stakes high because she won’t settle for mediocre which means I can’t. Again the point of what I’m writing here is to drive home the idea of teamwork and what can be achieved with it. I remember one night sneaking out of the roundhouse during a break to smoke and looking at the bricks that hold it together. For every single brick laid in that building there was a passing of the brick from one rough workers hand to another’s, probably with a joke, laugh or enquiry about the builders coming weekend. This brick was laid and checked, then another was began. From hand to hand. Smiles from the workers and a spirit of pending achievement as each circular layer was grown from the ground to create the facility, from architect to plumber, smiles and handshakes, cooperation, communication, respect, teamwork and massive achievement little by little. Then I looked around and saw another building, and another, and another, and was nearly flattened by the overwhelming thought of just how much vital and beautiful friendship had to be invested in to the world to make it what it is and that is so easy to take for granted, and it’s a lesson I will take in to the next project I am privileged to be able to help create.
I hope you enjoy the shows.
(All six ‘A Very Grimm Christmas’ productions will be available to download from www.wirelesstheatrecompany.co.uk, www.roundhouse.org.uk/radio and www.timeout.com from the 15th December. Tag your tweets with #nohappyendings)