Weâ€™re all sitting under the Snow Centre waiting for our â€˜performanceâ€™ in about an hour â€“ which, it seems, will be the launch of the actual Triennial. Kumagai (from Art Front who are running it) is sitting next to me testing his mic for the â€˜eurovision song contestâ€™ style simultaneous translation heâ€™s meant to be doing. Itâ€™s hard to tell what he thinks about our line up, despite our definite weirdness heâ€™s maybe getting into the idea in a very low key Japanese way â€¦
No matter how you organize these affairs there always seems to be a lot of sitting about and cable twiddling before hand, interspersed with ear-splitting sounds from the PA. The last hour sends everyone into their own particular â€˜auto-performance-paranoiaâ€™ behavior pattern. As I blog (!) Tim and Jamie are still tweaking the ultimate audio/visual arrangements; Barney is strumming an impromptu acoustic set, resplendent in Hawaiian shirt and balloon pants, he might be the male rival for Karen in her pre-performance grooming routine. Ben is relaxing after rocking out during rehearsal and Marcus seems to at last be giving us a break from â€˜checking the levelsâ€™ on his radio mic animal noises, maybe heâ€™s brushing his wig.
Having dreaded the communal living conditions at the house I have been surprised on two counts â€“ one that they were â€˜worseâ€™ than I could have imagined (4 rooms, 9 people, sliding thin walls) â€“ but two, that itâ€™s been OK. More than that Iâ€™ve actually really enjoyed hanging out with the 7 Samurai, and despite being totally on top of each other itâ€™s been great - and Iâ€™m now slightly sad that weâ€™ll all be splitting up for solo rooms in our Tokyo hotel week.
The other surprise has been tonightâ€™s performance. When Karen and I arrived at the start of this week â€“ jet lagged and â€˜Tudor tiredâ€™ from our recent month long stay in 1578 â€“ Adamâ€™s suggestion that weâ€™d all be performing on stage in one week, all singing, all dancing - filled me with horror. My singing is erratic at best and if youâ€™d told me before Iâ€™d got on the plane weâ€™d be doing harmonized backing vocals Iâ€™d have probably just lay on the floor at Heathrow. Now with an hour to go & the dress rehersal under our belts, I find myself suggesting that Karen and I join Ben on stage to form a Tudor backing group for the â€˜Stairway to Heavenâ€™ freak out â€“ weâ€™ll all have white face make-up on after all â€¦