I’d booked to see a play – Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead – at the theatre I used to work at. But whereas the real venue is in a modern building, this one was a tall Victorian edifice with a steep rake on each of the four tiers.
I’d been keen enough that I came to see the show on my own – maybe it was last minute, maybe no-one else had been available – and I expected to feel fairly at home anyway since I knew the theatre and some of the staff there. But I hadn’t been sent a ticket, only a reference number to my phone, and when I got to the entrance to the upper gallery, I couldn’t find any trace of email or text from the theatre. I kept telling the usher – a young, cynical guy with a curling lip – that I’d seen it on my phone immediately before I left the house, that I had paid, that I used to work here. My anger was rising (an anger I recognise well from real life, any time I feel I’m being patronised, disrespected, talked down to or blocked by bureaucracy). A group of school children in their early teens and private school uniforms – green and black kilts on the girls, blazers – were lined up at the other entrance just feet away from me, and I felt them and their teachers waiting to judge me if I showed my anger or tried to demand on being let in.
The literal background for this one was that I had tried to book tickets to see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at the Old Vic in London, with K, to find that they were almost sold out and the few remaining would cost, if not your firstborn, then at least some small person to whom you were vaguely attached. But I wasn’t angered by not being able to get oltickets. Fair enough, I should have got onto it as soon as I heard the show was premiering. Somewhere else in my life – or in a lot of aspects of life – there is a recurrent, simmering anger that things are being made difficult for me somehow.
I’ve been to this dream-theatre before, I think, and looked from the entrance to the grand circle or gallery, down towards the stage. But the floor has been absent, there was only water or a sheer drop beneath me. I think I’ve been due either to perform there or to work as an usher, and haven’t been able to get from one part of the theatre to another.
In this dream, after being turned away by the first usher I spoke to, I saw one of the duty managers I used to know, who said she might be able to sneak me in if I waited til the show had just started. But I found myself walking through dark corridors not being able to find my way back to the auditorium. As I recall that, I’m reminded of a dream I had just under a year ago, when I was performing in a far larger show than I’ve done in real life…but more about that in another blog.