Sunday, 5 August 2012

Delving into the State Theatre!

I never wear high heels. I own them, I love them, but I don’t wear them. Even when I go to a wedding, or event which usually requires them, I’ll wear them for half an hour and get my flats out of my car as soon as possible! Even as bridesmaid I only wore them for the service and photographs, the moment we walked into a reception I tossed them aside. Now, I hadn't dressed up, well other than being in a costume of a director’s choice, in weeks. So when my friend, Miss Rozanne Mouton from Top of the Billing fame, invited myself and my boyfriend to go with her to the final performance of Horn of Sorrow at the State Theatre on last Sunday I jumped at the chance. The chance to not wear pants that can stretch in four directions, the chance to not wear a sports bra,  and to wear makeup. Although, I must admit, after doing makeup for stage more than for going out I tend to have the eyeliner of a teenage goth quite unintentionally.

So off to the theatre I went in my high (-ish) heels to sit down and catch a show! And an amazing show it was. Afterwards we were debating our course of action for the next hour, I was dressed up after all, when the director of Horn of Sorrow, Miles Petzer, who Rozanne became acquainted with when he directed her in a show for Krekvars this year, called to hear if we didn’t want to join the cast for a drink. Thinking that we would probably go and have a drink somewhere, we agreed and were led through the parking lot to the backstage entrance of the theatre. An elevator ride up four floors brought me to a familiar place. At the end of this very same corridor where I had attended the call backs for Freedom. A right turn later and I was again on the rooftop where I had lunched during the call-back of Freedom. This time the rooftop held a braai and some of the most wonderful hosts I have experienced!

After a phone call to a wife (who was on her way) and Rozanne, my boyfriend and myself had organized our contribution to the evening and we visited with the cast on the rooftop until well after the sun had set on the skyline visible over the outcrops of the state theatre.

We said our goodbyes, and the three of us were about to leave with the director of Horn of Sorrows, and a friend of his, when Mr director asked if we would like a tour of the theatre? We started, giggling down one of the corridors of the first floor. A security guard looked very confused as the five of us waltzed by, exceptionally nonchalantly and I thought we were going to be in trouble when I heard him call after us, but smiled when I heard “You’re going to get lost!”
“I work here, I’m just giving them a tour quickly”
And we were off!
Into muraled corridors, and dimly lit staircases. Our first stop was the loading dock of the theatre, complete with two exceptionally large trucks and heaps and heaps of mementos from forgotten shows lining the walls. A large set of red his and hers thrones adorned one of these walls. Into some other new area and three Chandeliers hanging from the roof and parts of some set on the floor. We hop-scotched through the assortment of flat and into a large spiral staircase. Rozanne was at the top of the staircase when I blinked my eyes and was eagerly asking me to join her in the dark room she had discovered up top there. Noticeably, almost all these doors we kept going through and been stencilled with “KEEP DOOR CLOSED”. A part of me couldn’t help wondering if there was a reason for this. So up the staircase I went, in heels, only to discover a room full of pipes, presumably for some air conditioning system. On  the way down Rozanne, my boyfriend and myself couldn’t help noticing the marked absence of Mr Director Miles Petzer and his friend. After a general look about we decided to head back in the direction we came. After 5 minutes of this I went 21st century and asked Rozanne to call him. And the horror film theory was born. Upon the reunion of the five of us in the loading back we started to contemplate who would be the first member of the group picked off by the killer, who the group collectively named Jimmy. Nino claimed that he would have to remain to give our party of five some racial diversity. I figured, as Rozanne and I are both blonde it might be either of us, but somehow it was decided that Rob, the friend of the Mr Director, would be the first victim of Jimmy in our horror movie. As he is the youngest, I think the rest of us just desire his youth and would offer him up first.
Up the spiral staircase again, but only one floor this time brought us to where some of the lights are rigged for one of the theatres. We were guessing that it was drama theatre that we were in, although none of us was exactly sure. Then we hit the dark corridor. Miles called it the scariest place in the entire theatre, Rob had to prove him wrong, and set off down the dark corridor solo.  I thought we should all hide in a nook which was just in front of this dark area. My nook revealed another elevator, Nino pushed the up arrow and the four of us piled giggling into the elevator. We rode up a floor and decided to go down to fetch Rob again. Who was not there when we arrived moments later in the elevator. We called, heard no reply and figured that Jimmy had indeed decided upon Rob as his first victim.

The scary manikin the guys thught was Jimmy!

As it turns out Rob figured we had gone down a floor when we had gone up a floor and a few moment s after we went back down he went back up again. He returned, so we all followed his rabbit trail. Past a placard for ‘kinky pictures open day’ and room marked the ‘sluice room’ (we are still trying to find out exactly what that’s supposed to mean after investigation of the said sluice room revealed no clues!) and we made our way into the foyer of one of the theatres!

After the mannequins in the foyer scared the living daylights of the boys who thought momentarily that it was Jimmy, we moved into the theatre itself. I didn’t miss a beat and was heading towards the stage, Miles in hot pursuit! He had never been on this stage either. I’m not sure of the conversation which followed but while we were standing on stage (taking photographs, of coarse) I heard: “Miles you have no imagination. That’s terrible for a director”
My imagination had taken flight, however, and in the style of a true dancer I abandoned my shoes and jacket to do walkovers along the apron of the stage to really make it worth my while! A few pirouettes later and I was satisfied enough to put my heels back on again and head home!

Viewing the audience from the stage

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