My play which was produced this time last year is having another production here in Sydney. New Australian plays have a tendency to be done once and then disappear into the ether, so I’m lucky to have a couple of bites of this particular cherry (with a third to come in Melbourne next year).
On the weekend C and I went to see a rehearsal – and we took Tricky thinking this might be a good chance to introduce him to the feckless artiste existence of his parents. All very casual, just three people in the audience, opening night still a couple of weeks off. It would be a gradual introduction, like solids.
Some of my friends have brought their babies up in the theatre, they tell jolly tales of their little ones sleeping in the seats at the back of the theatre. Other friends, children of thespians, tell grand tales of having the run of the theatre and being inspired to put on their own little plays, with nothing but an empty chocolate box and a used pair of tights – precocious little moppets that they were.
I love the idea of Tricky being a theatre baby but having cast an eye over our finances we've realised that our best plan for retirement lies in our son becoming a plumber.
Before the run Tricky flirted outrageously with the director and was at his current-bun best. He’s so gorgeous, she shrieked. And I bet he’s so talented.
C and I hung our heads and muttered our modest denials. As soon as she turned her back he exercised one such talent – the Inappropriate Exploding Nappy.
Having dealt with that small crisis, the show began. Tricky sat on C’s lap and watched with interest as the four actors did their thing. Five minutes in however and the heckling began.
Small grunts at first and then tiny high pitched squeals. In vain did his father try to keep the dummy in his mouth. As the volume of the play became louder, so did the volume of the world’s tiniest theatre critic. Squeals became shouts became wailing gurgles. I attached him to one nipple and there was welcome silence. To be broken by snorting snuffling noises. The actors soldiered on.
The play came to an end. We clapped. Tricky vomited, leaving a small spattery puddle on the floor and a large trail of sick down my left breast.
I mopped ineffectually at myself.
Then I gave notes.
Then we left the rehearsal room.
We have decided we will need a babysitter for opening night.
Either that or a plumber.