The thing about a job description is that it doesn’t always describe every aspect of your job.
Take mine for instance; ‘Theatre Manager’ includes deputising for the Theatre Director when necessary and liaising with volunteers but there is no mention of compacting rubbish. Bear with me on this one.
Remember the days when we had a weekly collection and the bin was a small round metal cylinder with a lid and invariably dad would have to put his size 10’s in to push the rubbish down as far as it would go so you could put in another bag? Well we occasionally have a similar problem at the theatre only this time it’s not a small metal bin but a huge industrial sized wheelie bin that on the odd occasion is in need of extra capacity. It’s not unknown for me to clamber into the bin and squash the bags down as far as they will go. This is a simple task that merely requires a platform for me to climb on to reach the bin and some nifty footwork.
The same thing happened with the recycling bin last week so I applied the same logic. Trouble is with cardboard and cans, they are a whole lot lighter than landfill waste so as I clambered up onto the edge of the bin, hanging onto a nearby rail with one arm a bit like a monkey, I was just about on top of it, my feet balancing on the edge when the law of nature and science that had eluded me at that very moment, came into play and whilst I am far from heavy, I am considerably heavier than a load of cardboard so as I lowered my weight onto the lip of the wheelie bin, it started to wheel back and with the momentum, it tipped, with me in it.
A scene from Morecombe & Wise, Fawlty Towers or Only Fools & Horses springs to mind as the bin went west, I went east and the cardboard I was trying to squash further into the bin went in every direction.
However, not to be thwarted I refilled the bin with the scattered card and cans and squashed it in by pushing the lid down as hard as I could.
In the meantime the charmingly chaotic bicycle-powered Shakespeare The Handlebards arrived http://www.handlebards.com/
This remarkable troupe of cycling actresses arrived just after 4pm and with a strong sou’ westerly blowing, they needed all four stage weights to stop their props from taking off and heading out to sea. It was an outside production and they were setting themselves up on Theatre Square with something akin to half a beach tent and two bikes. The tent was flapping quite wildly along with our festive bunting that stretches across the square; the seagulls also started to gather as they tried to spot an opportunity to swipe someone’s snack (more of that later) it all added to the thrill of watching a performance in the open.
It was a fantastic performance that had everyone in fits of laughter as they gave more than a modern twist to ‘As You Like It’ including pinching Cadbury’s bitesize Whispers, Pringles and carrot sticks from the audience (the seagulls were out of luck). I can’t wait for their return.
But the big event for me was our 1940s fundraiser. This has been a very long time in the making; we started planning this back in February when I was quite new to the game but the other committee members were old hands and knew all the right people and before long we had Samantha, the Vera Lynn tribute singer, ration picnic bags and the raffle all sorted. It has made me realise just how much work goes into organising these big fundraisers, least of all getting people to buy tickets.
But what a brilliant evening! There was a great atmosphere, people turning up in their 1940s fashion (I was a land girl), joining in with the singing and then the whole room got up to learn the Charleston Stroll. We were hoping for 125 people to turn up but sadly it was around 90 in the end. All I can say is the 35 who didn’t come, missed a great night out.
So, in the true fighting spirit of World War Two, we will continue to do our utmost to raise the essential funds we need to update our toilet facilities and I won’t be too concerned about rubbish compacting not being in my job description, but next time I will use the appliance of science before I clamber into any more wheelie bins.
(Our toilet facilities probably date back to the Second World War, they are at best adequate. We want to bring them into the 21st century and install a disabled toilet but all of that costs. We are only about £3k short so if you want to belatedly contribute towards our toilet refurbishment, please do let me know.)