We advertised everywhere we could for a large and empty shed or barn, a spare bedroom, building site or chicken coop but nothing transpired. Not a soul in Paradise had a space going free. Then one of our members volunteered a temporary place for one show which was so kind and a life saver, but in essence only shelved the problem for another six months. The wailing and gnashing of teeth could be heard in Sunderland ! As I regularly said to my cast, 'no set, no show'.......
Then circumstances contrived to make our offered space a difficult option for the owners....the previously gnashed teeth were now fairly worn to stumps as you can imagine. My own large, and often rained in barn, became the option of last resort, but it needs a new corrugated roof otherwise any plywood set would be paper pulp in a nano second. The company made an executive decision to buy the roofing sheets, my lovely handyman who takes care of all those repair jobs which are needed on a regular basis in a two hundred year old house, has offered his time and hands to do the roofing job.
Now all this is fine and dandy but the inside of the barn is of the upmarket pigsty style and decor and we have precisely 24 hours before another kind and helpful handyman has volunteered to pick it up on a trailer and deliver it to the barn in expectation of it being spick and span and squeaky clean ?!
The 'barn raising' starts at 7pm tonight with as many hands as I can muster, ladies with muscles, girls with a deal more enthusiasm that muscle, and S, our young tenor playing the Duke. I think my frozen shoulder exempts me from lifting, pushing and shoving, but I will provide tea, strength 10 Ristretto coffee, custard cream biscuits and other sweet meats for the evening !
Say a small prayer that we can get enough cleaning and packing to one end done so the set is safe, hopefully dry and with enough space in which to swing a paint brush !
Here it is now - you see the size of the job at hand. Oh my ! oh my !