Here is my most embarrassing Edinburgh-Festival story (- the ferocity of my blushing prevented me from posting it any sooner -). Uh, bear with me while my face cools down.
Our theatre required every company to have a steward for every performance - someone who remained outside the door to help latecomers and get people out in (the unlikely event of) an emergency. They suggested that to keep costs down and avoid having to hire a steward, companies team up and help each other out. I posted a notice on the internet forum, mentioning that we were looking to share stewarding duties and in due time, a student company replied. All of our correspondence was limited to emails and text messsages, so to this day I haven’t met the girl in question. Let us call her ‘C’.
Eventually, on the first day of previews, I texted C, to confirm that we would we be sending someone to their show. She replied, saying that they didn’t need anyone that day, did we? I responded that we did need a steward (the deal was from the start to the end of the festival, with no days off so I was surprised at her reply and question). C’s sms reply was the following: Wicked will be there!
Seeing as I was going to be backstage and then on-stage, I knew I wouldn’t meet our steward before the performance, so drummed it into the technician and stage manager that “someone called Wicked (what do I know - it’s the theatre, right? Actors are weird!) will be manning the door for us. Please look out for him.” They couldn’t seem to remember “Wicked” and I kept having to spell it for them in French. They asked what it meant and I told them. I thought it was silly to use that as a pseudonym, but if that’s what makes the guy happy - whatever.
Of course, you can see where this is going, can’t you? I quizzed our boys afterwards, and they insisted no-one called Wicked introduced himself and there was not guy at the door either. I was slightly miffed, so the next morning, before C’s show, I sent another text message to confirm Nico’s presence as steward and mentioned that: BTW, Wicked didn’t steward for us last night - what happened? She shot a reply straight back saying: I was there! And how many shades of red do you think I went? Beet - no wait, blood, crimson, fire-engine, SCARLETT FERRARI-RED. Clearly, the missing comma and subsequent elision in her sms caused the confusion for me. (Wicked, I will be there. or Wicked! I will be there. and none of this would have happened!)
What made the whole thing infinitely worse, is that I used to live in London, where people use “wicked!” (as in “cool!”) aaaaaaaall the time! It’s not like I can claim ignorance. On top of that, I was the English translator of our play and thus responsible for cultural references AND I had been insisting to the French boys that this was a boy’s nickname or pseudonym in English (apparently).
Did my gang ever laugh at me when they found me glowing Scarlett Ferrari-Red after the text message and I had to ‘fess up. From then onward, whenever I did or said something daft - and sometimes just sticking my head around the door qualified - I was greeting with a tilt of the head, a raised eyebrow and a big:
“ WICKED, Heiks!”
Labels: Edinburgh, theatre, wicked