This is the Council Chamber of the Battersea Art Centre, where "Ring" takes place. The picture was taken Monday afternoon. Those aren't lights being rigged I now realise, they're whatever the opposite of lights are: black velvet gaffered to the holes in the ceiling. As part of a less specific refit the chamber walls have also undergone a rushed, artificial school-play ageing. Even in this light you can make out the phoney splurts of grey around the detail in the roof.
It's a lost space dolled up as a found one. Tea candles burn everywhere, sheet metal mirrors have been screwed into the ceiling and lightbulbs hang like bunting, unfitted. I've no idea how much of this is temporary: there's a lot of building work going on (and the dressing room I'm sharing with Daniel Kitson has a few sheets of plastic where a wall might later go). I hope they keep the carpeted dining booths they've erected on the central staircase, those are dreamlike. And I hope they lose the "Arbeit Macht Frei" buzzguff beneath:
Apart from one "scratch" night, eight years ago, of the never continued Self Portrait As Frida Kahlo, this is perhaps surprisingly my first time performing at the BAC. I used to come here as a child and print badges, but I don't think I ever saw a show here, not back in those days - That's not true I've just remembered! When I was ten I saw my Dad's friend Ted tell a story about two crows nattering to each other while feasting on a dead soldier's eyes! Eeee, that must have been in the Council Chamber, and thirty odd years later here I am, in the dark.
We finally had someone leave tonight. Total darkness is strangely claustrophobic. That's not the right word. Claustrophrightening. Everything seems taken care of though, The staff are incredible, most of them I'm assuming are volunteers. It's all a bit out of my hands anyway. I'm keeping the headphones on now.
It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is, none.
The buzz has been good. It's selling out around me. I think it's all going according to plan. You should come, we should see. In the meantime there's an excellent, spoiler-free interview with David Rosenberg here. And you can hear him have more binaural fun in his podcast "The Ear" here. And you can get tickets here. And here are some reviews - spoiler-free summary: Like, and even the people who don't like are coming again:
One Stop Arts
Whats On Stage
A Younger Theatre
What's Peen Seen