So a week after Slattery’s Sago Saga wrap, here I am, sitting in the lobby of the Ilves Sokos Hotel in Tampere, Finland. The company is staying in the hotel and its Ballroom is also the performing space forPower Point. The stage management team are running a cue to cue (aka q to q) and I have just labeled 220 programmes with Culture Ireland logos. But first things first.
We set off from Dublin on Tuesday morning, on the 7.15am flight to Helsinki. Noone forgot their passport or slept in or any other disaster and we all disembarked safely in Helsinki some 2 and half hours later, plus 2 hours time difference between Ireland and Finland. There was a little bit of confusion at Helsinki airport, when two cast members (who shall not be named for legal reasons) lost their way to the baggage reclaim, exiting the building from a different point, thus leaving the rest of the group watching the left behind luggage sadly going round and round on the carousel. After some texting and phone calls, the group eventually reunited including all of our suitcases. The subsequent coach journey to Tampere was comparatively uneventful but beautiful as the wooded Finnish countryside with stunning lakes, white yachts and wooden houses unfolded around us.
We arrived in Tampere in mid-afternoon, met at the bus station by Irene O’Mara, our Project Coordinator/Production Manager (who has travelled 3 days ahead of the rest of the team) and the lovely Laura Valoma of Tampere International Theatre Festival. Tampere feels like home as it was raining all day yesterday and Lisa Lambe’s face on the Festival official poster is everywhere! We checked out our location – the Ballroom – and unpacked the last boxes of Power Point set that arrived from Dublin, before having a bite in a rather German-looking restaurant with the merit of its own brewery.
A press conference with director Jo Mangan and writer Tom Swift was scheduled for the morning of our first day in Tampere, while the Stage Management team – Irene, Lara Hickey and Emma Hannon – set up in the Ballroom.
The rest of Day 1 we spent teching (and me annoying everybody taking photos). Site specific shows are a little more challenging than getting into a more or less familiar theatre set up. There is a rather spectacular chandelier made out of glass icicles in the middle of the Ballroom, which caused many a lighting agony – sadly, it’s right over the audience and not over the stage, but it is on a dimmer (which doesn’t make any difference to us, but I thought you might like to know 🙂 ) We are divided as to whether it is actually beautiful (me) or really ugly (the rest of the team).
Schedule for today is fixes, cue to cue, dress rehearsal, fixes, show at 8pm. Tonight’s performance is sold out and we are very excited. Our hard work over the past couple of days will be rewarded by a trip to a real Finnish sauna by a real Finnish lake – an outing the Festival have organised for us at 10pm tonight! Will keep you posted.
Pics from yesterday’s tech: