This Is The Way The Tour Goes
This is the way the tour goes. They’re in the business of stories and there’s a new theatre every few weeks to tell them in. They tell them in corridors. Behind wardrobe crates or in dressing rooms, hunched next to the cardboard boxes backstage. In wig rooms. On auditorium floors. They cram them into the one-minute window after the lights go down, whisper them just before the Overture kicks in. There are ones for cold nights in February, ones for Tuesday mornings and hazy sun. Ones laughed breathily in the coffee shops that serve them super-quick hot chocolates to-go. Plenty in pubs, half-yelled over the music, told late on Saturday nights once they’re done with the week’s last show.
On Friday evening when the foyer’s full, conversations rumble beneath the chandeliers, and everything is shaded amber through the filter of pre-show wine. There’s a glow from the ushers’ satin waistcoats and the red velvet trim of the auditorium seats. It’s slightly too warm and the air is stuffy; people are waiting for a show, for the story they paid for to be told.
Backstage there are stories the audience never hear. Through stage doors of glass, down alleys, over open suitcases and sign-in sheets. All away from the Front of House shimmer, through doors barely labeled and surrounded by brick. If you’re lucky there are hand-painted signs, the smallest splashes of gold. But for the most part these are damp pavement stories, told to the sound of the wind.
This is the way the tour goes. They’re in the business of stories and they’ll tell them for fun. But the best ones are told in corridors. Behind wardrobe crates. At the stage door after the show.