One more show of The Legend of Ned Kelly to go and we have wrapped up for the season. However, we would have to say last night would have to be the best show yet, performing to a packed house – by torchlight! Yes, last night, Port Noarlunga was caught in the middle of a raging storm and the power went out about 5 minutes before we were due to start the show.
The first few minutes were a haze of confusion as we attempted to keep the crowd entertained with a few popular Irish songs (after all, The Legend of Ned Kelly is an Irish based play) until we could decide how we would proceed for the rest of the night. We were informed that we wouldn’t get power back for another 3 hours so a decision had to be made. The president of Noarlunga Theatre Company (of whom we were working in conjunction with) expressed concern that performing in the dark could lead to accidents. However, when we put it to the crowd with the offer of a refund, they weren’t going to have a bar of it! They were curious to know how we were going to perform the show without power. So the show went on, and boy, was it an experience for everyone involved!
One of the challenges we faced was performing without lights. Thankfully, the show used battery powered lanterns which we lined the stage to provide light for the performers. We also had several torches at our disposal which helped immensely. The second challenge was the music. In previous performances, we had been singing to Tony Stratton’s electric piano which, in this instance, was no longer an option. The solution? The entire cast and crew sang in acapella which was an experience in itself.
Neither of the microphones, speakers or the audio sampler which Caetlyn McLean used for sound effects were working. Thankfully, her computer was still running on battery power and with a few increases in volume to the sound effects in Audacity (so the audience could hear them as well), she had something she could offer to the production.
Strange thing was, when the power eventually came back on in time for the second act, the audience seemed to enjoy the first act more because the atmosphere had changed! We speculate they were enjoying our achievements, thinking on our feet while providing them with quality entertainment. One member of the audience even compared the first act to watching a play in Shakespearan times (where the cast and crew would have performed by candlelight because they wouldn’t have had any power) which was quite a compliment!
Last night’s show certainly showed that we could all think on our feet. Everyone had to make last minute tweaks to the show in order to present the best performance for the audience under rather trying circumstances and we succeeded!
We would like to thank everyone who decided to stay on and watch our performance last night and we sincerely hope you enjoyed watching our efforts by torchlight as much as we enjoyed entertaining you!