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Phosile Mashinkila has published 6 articles

Director's Blog - Noughts and Crosses Week 7

The final blog for Noughts and Crosses, which is on in 7th week at the Simpkins Lee theatre in LMH Weds-Sat.
Phosile Mashinkila on Wednesday 23rd November 2011
Photograph: Jim Champion

“Hi, I don't want to sound petty, but please could people not take posters for plays and other events down? Posters can cost quite a lot of money to make in mass and whatever the event, people have put a lot of effort into it and it is very disheartening to come back from putting posters around Oxford and find they have been taken down.”

That was the note I wanted to put on my college’s Facebook page after coming back late at night from an intense technical rehearsal to find posters for the play I’d put round college taken down from notice boards. I stress the word ‘wanted’, as I didn’t end up posting the comment as I’m too scared; instead I sent a request to my JCR president asking him to put a note about it in the next JCR email. Oh dear, I am cringeing as I am typing this - what a prude I have become!

This week has only just started but it definitely doesn’t feel like it. Saturday involved an afternoon rehearsal of the kidnap scenes with a staff writer from the Oxford Student sitting in, so no pressure. Sunday started early in the morning with me dragging a trolley suitcase full of pancakes for an all day rehearsal to the Simpkins Lee Theatre. Early this morning a few cast members and I ( along with the lovely Philippa Baines from the film society to do the filming) filmed the protest scene, getting some confused looks from passers-by as we shouted, “No Blankers in our schools” and the lovely expression, “Blankers are Wankers!”.  Tonight consisted of a tiring technical rehearsal where I became an angry despot ranting and grunting at the actors from the lighting box: it’s most likely that the actors either hate me or are slightly afraid - either way it gets the job done.

A few weeks ago I went on a National Express coach that stopped in the middle of the dual-carriageway due to a petrol leakage, resulting in all the passengers (including me) waiting for taxis to come and drive us to the next nearest station. Nevertheless I managed to reach my destination and I guess it’s easy to draw a parallel between a toilsome journey on public transport and putting on a show. Despite the strong possibility of encountering delays, traffic jams, breakdowns- you get all the whole obstacle thread - the ultimate goal makes it all worth the bother. Well, let’s hope so anyway.

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