Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Couple of days in Gessnerallee, Zürich

The end of last week was very surprisingly springlike with lots of sunshine and soft breezes. Therefore I had absolutely no problems going to Zürich and back again.

This time I was asked to help out a colleaque in realising his light-design, him being otherwise engaged. The production (by PVC) was called "Mütter.Väter.Kinder", directed by Sebastian Nübling and originally staged in Theater Freiburg, Germany. This time the piece was set-up in Theaterhaus Gessnerallee.

I have to admit, that I was a bit nervous going to Gessnerallee in the morning of the first get-in day. I had done my homework and seen the performance once in Freiburg, but still it was to be the first time to handle it on my own. -And there is quite a lot of equipment to rig-up. I wasn't so concerned that I wouldn't be able to do it, question was more about if I would be fast enough in instructing local crew. Especially, giving the fact that my German is far from perfect and I didn't remember all the details by heart. =)

Everything started smoothly, all of the fixtures were already positioned on stage in the morning and off we went rigging them to the truss-system. By lunch-time it was more or less done, thanks to very efficient house-crew. After the lunch the scenography was set on positions and we got to continue with lights after 17h. Even though the house-crew is just absolutely to be praised (big thanks especially to Jean-Pierre!), it took good five hours to focus everything. So it was somewhat long day, having to get up at 6.30 to catch a train. So you can imagine, that at 22.30 beer tasted really good in the theater restaurant! -And I was quite happy to have it too, since I managed to keep things in schedule.

After the first days' setting-up frenzy everything rolled without problems: I did corrections to programming during the rehearsals and then before and after the rehearsals we looked at the light-cues with director Nübling and set-designer Müller. To run the show is quite simple and I've always liked being the operator, so that was something I knew wouldn't cause difficulties. Once we got the cues right, it was just a walk in the park for me =) I even had time to go back to Basel on Saturday to help my friends to move into a new apartment.

On Saturday it was by far the nicest weather this year, so it was a perfect day to move. My friends had very little to move, it would have all easily fit into a normal van, but we did the move with BIG RED truck from Pepe Lienhardt big band. -Just because it was cool and the truck available. New neighbours were surprised to realise that suddenly everything is gone red outside their window and with a closer look one could see a huge saxophone. -we parked the truck on the sidewalk and covered their windows =)

After the move we went to nearby Kaserne to have some tapas for lunch. It was almost summerlike to sit outside in the sunshine and watch people go by. For anybody coming from Finland it's almost impossible to believe that in the end of February you can sit outdoors without multiple layers of clothes and burn your face. I believe temperature hovered somewhere just below +20'C. Not bad. After nice afternoon with friends, I hopped to train again ang headed for Zürich.

I'm so happy that all went so well in Zürich, in professional level. I learned to trust myself more by achieving this without having to cry for help. All the people were also so friendly, both with PVC and Gessnerallee, and I believe I made some new friends here. Would also be cool to have chance to work with both director Nübling and the venue Gessnerallee in the future, but time will tell about that.

Looking at the experience from purely personal perspective, I have to say that this one was among the nicest productions I taken part. I felt that people trusted me and my opinions. And somehow the families (a.k.a performers) on stage seemed so warm-hearted and took me in very friendly. I'm really looking forward to have chance to interact with these people again (and yes, Tobias, next time I'll bring extra pair of shoes too!).

For final words on this entry I would once more like to thank; first of all light-designer Andreas Grüter for offering me this opportunity, all the people of the production for such a good time and all the technicians of Gessnerallee for excellent 1A-class help they gave me.