DEATH TRAP

In 2010, I performed in Belfast, where I am now known as ‘the girl who fell off a stage’. At the Belfast Taste and Music Fest, I jumped off the stage barefooted, slipped and fell. Evidently, grass gets slippery when it’s wet, and it sure is wet when it has rained throughout three quarters of your performance. I didn’t hurt myself, but unfortunately for me, someone who has seen that show now lives in Liverpool and tells the story about a Dutch girl who fell off the stage during a Kate Bush tribute performance…

After a gorgeous ride through the Lake District yesterday, we arrived in Workington’s Carnegie Theatre: a lovely theatre with red walls and curtains, a beautifully decorated balcony and red seats that looked nice and comfortable. The theatre is located opposite the local gun shop.

I could instantly see and feel that the stage was slightly sloped, and a bit uneven. There was a white line about a foot (30 cm) from the edge of the stage. The bit between the line and the edge was sloped a whole lot more than the rest of the stage. To make matters worse, the pit between the stage and the audience was an estimated 7 feet (2 metres) deep. Not the kind of stage to fall off… My band members instantly called it the Death Trap.

We had to juggle with the risers and the positioning, because the stage wasn’t very wide. We have to use risers, otherwise our light engineer has nothing to attach his light to. The theatre only had three risers. Drummer Paul got two (otherwise his drum kit doesn’t fit), and keyboard player Barney and backing vocalist Jerney got one that was quite high. In fact, it was so high that Jerney mentioned she didn’t know if she would be able to get on and off in the dress she would be wearing in the first set. We all agreed one death trap would be enough for the day, and placed a case on the side of the riser for her to safely get on and off.

After a search for an ironing board (disappeared from the theatre) or alternatively a table and towels (disappeared from the theatre) to iron the costumes, Jerney continued ironing, and I concentrated on the dancing. I made the guys clear the stage in record time. Apparently, the sentence “Can you guys clear the stage as soon as possible, so I can teach myself not to die during the show tonight” renders some kind of concern and action. However, sound engineer Ben did ask me to leave my bank card and pin number at the side of the stage, in case I would die during the show.

All horror jokes aside, I did work hard to make sure I wouldn’t trip or slip during the show and I wouldn’t take much risk. I have changed some of the positioning of the dance routine to stay away from the edge of the stage if I felt like the move could be dangerous (especially combined with the slope).

The rest of the day went by rather smoothly, especially compared to last week’s show day. The main problem during the day – aside from the stage and pit – was a crackling noise that was in our monitors during the sound check. It sounded a bit like we had gone back in time to the nineties and someone was using a dialup modem. We unplugged every piece of equipment we could think of one by one. We still don’t know what caused it, but eventually it stopped. We could only hope it wouldn’t start again at some point during the show. Our best theory is that is was George the travelling ghost.

The crowd was small, but the amount of applause completely made up for that! It was good to play for such a responsive audience. Even though the audience was quite far away, I could see people thoroughly enjoying the show, which is always a lovely sight. We played a smooth and solid show, with no glitches, apart from a missing ‘rain and thunder’ track before ‘Cloudbusting’.

I was happy about how the show went, so by the time we got to Wuthering Heights, I felt free to walk around the stage, waving. I walked to guitarist Liam and continued waving, walking backwards a couple of steps and then turned around to the audience. To my own horror, when I turned around I noticed those couple of steps had led me to the white line, on which I now was standing! Grateful more than ever that I hadn’t fallen off the stage we finished the show…



 

1 comment

  • Martin Wass

    Martin Wass Carnegie Theatre

    Great show, really great - enjoyed your performance immensely. Have to admit, I was a bit nervous of the pit of doom at the stage end.. You handled it brilliantly. Special shout to the band, (really tight), A great shout to the young lady on backing vocals,, she was awesome. All in all - a great show. Cant wait to see you again.

    Great show, really great - enjoyed your performance immensely. Have to admit, I was a bit nervous of the pit of doom at the stage end.. You handled it brilliantly. Special shout to the band, (really tight), A great shout to the young lady on backing vocals,, she was awesome. All in all - a great show. Cant wait to see you again.

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