The final curtain has fallen on Antigone (in the metaphorical sense, because the curtains in the theatre actually move horizontally). At the afterparty, several people asked me, “Are you happy or sad now that it’s over?” and my truthful answer was, “Yes, I am”. They probably thought that I didn’t quite understand the question, whereas most of them probably didn’t quite understand my answer.
I mean, yes, I am relieved to have my life return to some semblance of normality: I can get to bed at a reasonable hour; I can vegetate in front of the television – should I so choose; and I can eat dinner at a speed that does not put me in the ‘high-risk of choking’ category. On the other hand, I am filled with melancholy, because amateur productions cause the theatrical equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome for me. I’ve spent so much time with the cast and crew over the past three months that they have become like an extended family (complete with peculiar Uncle Frank, smutty Aunt Sue and self-absorbed cousin Flo*). Their sudden removal from my life leaves me with an uneasy feeling of dislocation – almost like there’s been a death in the family.
Of course, there’s nothing to stop me from phoning any of them up and suggesting that we get together, but seeing one of the cast outside the context of the theatre often enhances the sense of weirdness, because it’s a bit like talking to a ghost (without the chains and other associated spectral paraphernalia, naturally).
* names have been changed to protect the guilty.