A very bizarre thing happened just before lunch. This sounds perhaps a little dramatic, but I think the Caledonian Road area might have been hit by a tornado! We were rehearsing a particularly dramatic song, where one of the characters gets very angry and upset and then sings "no more rain" rather triumphantly. We were aware that something odd was going on outside. The sky had turned a very odd colour, and suddenly the curtains at the windows started billowing like something from Scooby Doo!
I could see leaves swirling in circles outside, and then suddenly the wind started roaring, the windows started rattling, the building started shaking and the curtains nearly blew off their casters. Everyone stopped, a little shocked by what was happening. We started the song again, and, just as the character sang "no more rain" for a second time there was a huge roar of sound and the fire alarm went off. The building was immediately evacuated.
We traipsed out into the courtyard, with wind, rain and hail smacking us in the face. And then, almost as soon as it had started, the sun came out and it was as though nothing had happened.
There was, however, carnage on the street. Someone's window had been blown clean out of its casement and was smashed on the street below. The manager of Co-op round the corner had lost all of his signs. "They literally blew half way down the street... I thought the end of the world had come..." He said. An old lady in the shop wanted to talk about what had happened "I was coming out of the community centre... I didn't have a clue what was was going on... I just ran back inside..."
We did our workshop presentation this evening and it probably couldn't have gone any better in terms of the performers truly raising their games and the audience response. Crucially, people hung about afterwards which is always a good sign. Within a week or so I'll be able to write about what we've been up to, which will be a great weight off my mind, but this past week has been a very special one: highly creative and full of laughter. I'm both relieved it went so well, and a tiny bit sad that it's all over.
As the day wore on, we started hearing about the dreadful attacks in Paris, which made the weird tornado at lunchtime all the more prescient and strange. God knows society can't carry on living in fear like this. It genuinely feels like we're being held to ransom by these extremists but I'm not sure I know what the solutions are without declaring all out war... and we all know where that ends up. Personally, I'm beginning to think it's time for the UK to protect itself by withdrawing from the world stage. If we're seen as neutral, or better still, inconsequential and powerless, I'm thinking we might feel a little safer. I realise I'm simplifying things. But an aggressive political stance could well place us in the line of fire.