Day 35 in the house...
Corona. Lockdown. Isolation. What is there to say?
I'm having a holiday. I'm trying not to feel guilty about not doing any puppetry. I'm trying to write a book about how to do puppetry. I'm obsessed with media. I think the government are fucking up. I think the government are doing great. I'm helping my Mum and Dad at home. I'm talking to my family on Zoom. I'm not manic, I just sound like I am.
I get Corona less often these days. I used to get it whenever I listened to the radio. I'm listening to the radio less often. I don't have to suppress an urge to cough in the supermarket any more. I just go round and shop.
I am meeting with the board on Zoom once a week to discuss future plans. Meeting with Vienna State Opera on Zoom in the hope that we will still be able to open Madam Butterfly there in September. Getting the opera house open again is a top priority in Austria (Yes really it is), but gathering a theatre audience doesn't seem very likely at the moment. I am trying to imagine being relaxed about it again. I think we may need to start wearing masks for our own sanity. In order to be with other people. Even if scientifically they actually don't do anything.
Having said I haven't worn a mask yet. Ironically for someone who works in puppetry. I don't know if puppets have any health implications. The idea of three man puppetry feels quite unhygienic right now. I guess the team could have to self isolate together. But I think even watching things that are not deemed "safe" is strange too. I reeled back when I saw people shaking hands in a film the other evening.
I haven't seen or touched a puppet since March 12th. I don't miss them. Well not much. It's probably the longest I've been without doing something with a puppet since 2004. It's healthy I think, although that seems like a slightly tasteless thing to say in a pandemic. I feel oddly in alignment with this lockdown personally. I was pretty fed up with the puppet scene. Pretty fed up with London. Pretty fed up with theatre lately. Pretty fed up with the way I live and my values and what I think I am striving for. I wonder if a lot of us were? Every time someone writes "when we get back to normal" I have a moment of doubt where I hope we won't.
Our show The Nightingale has been cancelled in Cardiff and London which is gutting. After 6 years of trying to get it on again. We are waiting to hear from Magdeburg at Christmas. I am wondering if we can call it a "socially distanced" opera? The puppets are all in separate bits and no one touches anyone else. Still there is the question of the audience. ENO have announced drive-in operas.
The book is on Puppetry. A Practical Guide. Going to have everything I can think of to say about doing extreme puppetry. And lots of pictures. Just started. Better get back to it.
Hope everyone is well. Stay safe! See you on the other side.