On Wednesday, at around midday, I was loading my props into Salisbury Arts Centre onto an empty stage, and I had this sudden realisation that I am living the dream. A few years ago I vividly, remember that my goal was to get my show onto the cruise ships. I did it. After this, I needed a new goal, so my new goal was to get a solo one hour theatre show and to tour it in small theatres. And here I was, unpacking my solo one hour theatre show, Jon Udry Punches Gravity in the Face, into a small theatre on a tour! Well ok, it wasn't a tour tour, it was 2 dates. But it was MY two dates, so therefore I am calling it my two date tour! A journey of a thousand miles starts blah blah blah and all that. In a nutshell, I felt chuffed that I was living my dream!
Salisbury Arts Centre is a remarkable building, with very high ceilings, and a phenomenal lighting rig. It was great to get the lighting cues really bang on. Thanks to Aidan and Sam for being well on it with regards to the lights and sound. Also, thank-you to Mel and to all of the team for being so helpful and nice! Legends.
After the show, a man came up to me. This man was in his late 50’s, and if he said he was a builder, I wouldn’t have been surprised. He said:
“I never really see much theatre, and when I do, I certainly don’t cry. But you my friend, had me in tears. Thank-you!” - possible builder man in his late 50’s.
I was so touched. His face was wet with tears. I gave him a hug and I welled up with joy! I was very pleased! A lovely little reminder as to why I do what I do.
The next day at Trowbridge Town Hall couldn't have been a more different venue from Salisbury. After we finally got to the venue after negotiating the relentless and monstrous one way system in Trowbridge*, we unloaded the car, and checked out the performance space. Dance floor. Heating. 4 working lights. Wall paper falling off of the walls. Basic sound desk. Church windows. It was perfect! A while ago I fell in love with performing in spaces that weren’t theatres, and this was certainly not a theatre. The room felt perfect for my show and I was very pleased with how it went. A child that was 14 said:
"This was the best show I have ever seen!" - 14 year old child.
I know he is only 14, so he may not have seen many shows, but I still felt very honoured to be someones favourite show, even if I am his number one hit for just a few days. Big thanks to Dom for setting up the tech stuff, and thanks to all of the lovely team at Trowbridge Town Hall for their remarkably hospitality (Philippa, Tracy, Jess) and big thanks to my girlfriend Pippa for nailing every sound cue in the show, for focusing the lights and for putting up with me stressing about the show. I couldn’t have done it without you!
I had a lovely time on my two date tour (it makes me smile every time I say that!). I guess my next goal would be to have a solo show that I can tour around theatres for more than 2 dates! With the help from my producer Jess, we are on the case with touring Jon Udry Punches Gravity in the Face in Spring 2018. I’ll keep you posted.
*Stranglers frontman, Hugh Cornwell, got so fed up with the one way system in Trowbridge, that he wrote a song about it! Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Es_TmuASzyU