by Jez Bond

How does one manage stress? Breath deeply? Go to your 'happy place'? Remember to step back and put things into perspective?

I have no trouble breathing, my happy place is the theatre and when I step back to put things into perspective I see a huge building, a £2.2 million budget and the possibility of mistakes that could be costly. Oh - and I'm a control freak. Does that make it better or worse, I wonder? Well of course it makes the stress worse - I care about everything so deeply it's all consuming; but the outcome better - that very care means attention to detail which leads to, we hope, the best possible finished product within the given constraints.

Thankfully I'm not alone. There's one other person that's quite like me in these respects - very like actually - and that's our architect, Dave Hughes. Like me he finds the project all consuming. On more than one oacassion a morning phone call from him has begun with the line "I couldn't sleep last night 'cause I lay in bed thinking about..." With an extremely hands-on approach the two of us are probably driving the contractors mad - but then for them it's just a job, for us it's a hell of a lot more. Breath deeply? Doesn't really work - but we're loving it nonetheless.

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