The day after the night before

Once a performance is completed it is time to tear down the set, clean the theatre from top to bottom and return the Salle des Fêtes to its regular, unadorned, clean and tidy state.
This process is called the strike, and it is an important part of the theatrical process. In professional theatre, the strike is handled by specific crew members, but in amateur theatre like the ETC everyone is called on to help!
It’s natural that after the final performance the actors will be eager to get to the bar and bathe in the glory of a great show. So for the ETC we tend to do the strike the day after the performance. The phrase “many hands make light work” applies here in spades, because there is so much to do.
The next day, when most of the actors are long gone for a deserved rest, the crew dismantle the set, pack away the extruded aluminium poles and beams, stack the flats, gather costumes, tidy up the props, take down the lighting bars, tripods and scaffolding tower, remove the sound equipment, tidy backstage areas, store the dimmer packs, lighting desk and sound desk, mollycoddle the microphones, clean the green room, clean the toilets, clean the kitchen and bar area, stack and store the chairs, and pack all the theatre lights and carefully coiled cables in their flight cases.
There are those final tedious jobs that get left until the end, like sweeping the floors and emptying the rubbish bins.
Of course electric screwdrivers, spanners, socket sets, ladders, drills, and other tools need to be on hand — so too does a supply of tea, coffee and biscuits. Then when everything is done and loaded onto our rented van it’s time for a celebratory beer. Then it’s off to the next venue. The strike helps to keep the ETC crew fighting fit!
Special thanks post-Boudrac to Maggie Crane who was on stage for Quartet and spent the next day with the strike crew doing some of the horrible jobs!