by Jez Bond

There’s a well known phrase in theatre that no matter how unrehearsed something is or how unprepared the actors are for that last minute change, somehow when the audience arrive the show runs smoother than it ever did before: Dr Theatre comes to the rescue.

It’s a sentiment shared by the character of Philip Henslowe played by Geoffrey Rush in Tom Stoppard’s ‘Shakespeare in Love’:

“Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.

Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?

Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.

Hugh Fennyman: How?

Philip Henslowe: I don’t know. It’s a mystery.”

It was in fact the much blogged about Dave Hughes who reminded me of this dialogue a few months ago. I am happy to say that when meeting potential new members of the design and build team, Dave ensures that ‘Geoffrey’s philosophy’ is understood and appreciated by all as part of their initiation.

Today was supposed to be the date of submission for planning – but amidst the plethora of reports from the various consultants two bits of paperwork were omitted and had not been included in anybody’s schedules. Today it was our mechanical and electrical engineer, David Apple, who came to the rescue, writing – at extremely short notice – the relevant documents. He’s certainly earned his nickname ‘The Big Apple’ but perhaps more appropriately today, due to his theatrical last minute save, we anoint him Dr Apple.

The documents are with Planning Perspectives now and come the morning shall arrive, along with the other parts of the application, at 222 Upper Street. The good news is that we gave ourselves a few days grace period and haven’t missed the deadline for the October committee.

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