Tomsk Blog 4 – Lost in translation

A lot of the theatre terms we take for granted in the UK don’t have a similar meaning over here. When I set up a first run through the other day expecting the usual nervous energy filled stagger through you get from UK actors – although of course they are all totally off the book 😁 – what I got here was a whole company just sleep walking through their parts. Bloody hell I thought we have got a long way to go. Niet! Totally different meaning in Tomsk, where a run through just means marking time.

For all you future Russian visitors here’s a wee glossary.

  • A work in progress is a draft production
  • A tech run is a dirty run through
  • A dress rehearsal is a general repetition (and lordy, we’ve all been in one of those!)

Spring has truly sprung in Tomsk, a month early according to Ludmilla one of the superintendents in our building. First the ice moves, the ice breaker clears a path, the river flows and then Spring seems to happen overnight. I’m feeling a bit foolish in my Arctic gear when everyone else is wandering about in jeans and T shirts, but hey cmon, this is Siberia. Who’d have thought it.

We walked again by the river last night and large chunks of ice layer the banks, thrown aside by the freed river and the first merchant ships are now moving smoothly along the central channel. The small mountains of stacked ice that cover the banks are of course a temptation for young and old alike, particularly young bucks showing off a little for their female companions. We all watched with much joy as one such young gazelle sprinted to the top of a particularly tempting peak only to suddenly realise that in trainers descending is a damn sight more difficult. After several false starts and involuntary skids, his young woman companion got fed up with the shenanigans and took charge barking out orders to her increasingly deflated beau. Ten minutes later after much circuitous movement and shouts of encouragement from the many amused onlookers the young gazelle collapses into the rather fed up arms of said female companion and is marched off with much bending of young gazelles ear.

In case you bump into him he’s the guy on top of my head in Serge Jacovsky’s photo amuse.

Today we start the Tech – which is in fact called a Tech. Huzzah! – and it’s a great feeling to watch all the parts of the show tumble into place. Here’s a picture of the preset. The signs say. “The Not Normal Show”.

As if I’d make anything else!