We finally went to see Wicked this weekend. Finally because we bought the tickets about nine months ago and it’s taken a very long time for the middle of December to come around.


The Playhouse, and neighbouring shopping/eating/cinema complex,Wicked were lit up in green all around. I am always impressed by the efforts a crew of nameless magicians make to create the right atmosphere even before you get to the event. When West Side Story was on, the whole of the outside of the theatre was made to look like somewhere from New York, complete with rows of American flags outside.

Wicked itself was fabulous, including one amazing scene (no spoilers though…) where the lighting was used to create a visual impression quite unlike anything I’ve seen the theatre before. Decades ago I did the lighting for school productions and I’ve not lost the wonder at the difference well designed and executed lighting can make to these shows.

Since I’ve started to make a proper effort with my own writing, I’m also seeing productions differently, watching instinctively how the plot is developing, thinking about how issues might be resolved and observing the development of the characters. The same is true of films and television shows where you can start to see how the writers (how come they never get the big credits by the way?) have constructed the story and how brilliantly they use dialogue to tell you so much about the characters and move the plot along.

As for me I’ve been struggling with one scene for a few days now. I finally went for a long run today (the one I should have done yesterday but couldn’t fit in with everything else) and that was what it took. I came back and have started it again. I think it’s working better now. It’s good to be able to try things out, get it wrong and have another go.

And on a more mundane level, we now have working lights in the sitting room, the girls’ bathroom and outside, the latter being particularly appreciated this evening when we were coming and going in the dark and the lights made all the difference. A huge thanks to Steve, our brilliant electrician.

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