Rarely since the early days of The Show Must Go On (1) has there been such a sense of anxious expectation about a performance. After a run of lag-ruined shows, our brave troupe had all but decided that unless the show due to go out on Saturday 9th May went well we would have to shut the theatre doors until grid stability crept back up from the depths of the tar pit it has found itself in of late. Needless to say this was not a decision taken lightly or without much regret all round, but how could the show go on when lag meant that, well, the show couldn’t even start?
Over the weeks since the last (first) show of 2009 we performers had talked for hours and hours about it. We had planned, plotted, practiced and planned some more to try everything we could to overcome the dread lag beast. We had lost sleep with worry that all out efforts would be in vain. I, for one, had become convinced that huge part of my Second Life was about to come to a horrible end.
So there we stood, we daft few. The curtains were drawn, the crowd gathering. Os had reduced the seating and put out a sign to explain that we would hold two shows, one after another, to accommodate everyone (2). We were nervous. IMs bounced back and forth. We were really nervous. But it felt good. There was an energy; an electricity and it rippled through us all. We all knew the stakes and were all going to do our best to give the best performance of out lives.
Then Enjah deleted the back of the theatre, Kitty fell through the void to the floor way below and Lucy crashed out due to a huge lightning storm that took the interwebz out for her.
But we were strong. Os whipped out a new rear end for the theatre, Kitty managed to get back up intact and Enjah dove into the breach and filled in for Lucy. Lucy’s interwebz came back on just in time for her and Karuna to do their excellent Doctor sketch near the end of the show. In short, we laughed in the face of everything thrown at us and came out with the best show ever!
The first audience were friends who’d read my notecard and some people who’d seen the NWN article and as the curtains opened on the first part of the flea circus act, we performers took one huge breath and threw ourselves headfirst into the fray…
The flea sets worked perfectly! All exploded or caught fire on time, just like Enjah & Os planned. Kitty’s new song was hilarious (she is such a flirt, she puts me to shame! Lady Heady would love her, Dharlink!). Lucy’s MD sketch ran like a well oiled comedy-machine and the elixir sketch was joyful – I mean that too because it came at the end of the show and by that time we all knew it had been a great success so a weight lifted from our shoulders.
The second audience was almost entirely made up of friends of the show’s biggest fan, Mikiyo, along with some of the lovely peeps from the ever brilliant NPIRL. The audience was wild this time! Mikiyo had whipped them up into a frenzy and they loved us! We ran a tight ship – every cue was hit and mark met. This year is a funny show from start to finish and the laughs came thick and fast until, regrettably, the curtain closed for the final time on the poor departed fleas. May dog have mercy on their tiny souls.
All in all a great success, but the real success of the evening was that the troupe can quite confidently, without fear of contradiction, say that… The Show WILL Go On!
(1) I’m only guessing here – I wasn’t around then.
(2) Although the show was supposed to be a secret, someone (coughsorrycough) had let a notecard escape into the wild where it had been picked up by New World Notes. We were expecting lots of people and knew that lots of people = lots of lag. (3)
(3) Even with my notecard and the NWN publicity we didn’t get lots. I’m sad about that, even though it probably saved the show. If it had been for Mikiyo inviting his friends as the second act began, we’d have been playing to 4 or 5… yikes!