Webcowgirl’s guide to surviving Rift’s Macbeth (Balfron Towers)

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I’ll be publishing a tell-all review soon (since it’s sold out I want to have a good record of the show), but for you who want to preserve the air of mystery yet still need to know how to properly prepare yourself, here’s a few tips.

1. Do show up on time. The DLR runs only about every 10 minutes to the nearest station so allow for the extra wait at Stratford.
2. You’ll be asked to change to Bordurian money tokens, but don’t go wild – four quid per drink is enough, and you won’t want the hassle of changing back when you leave. Bevvies are limited to red/white, water, a few sodas, cheap mixer booze, and two juices.
3. Pee before you go in as the show starts immediately when you are walked into the sub-basement.
4. EAT before you arrive. The late night “feast” of borsht, sliced bread, and grilled peppers is wholly inadequate to normal caloric intake; I’d consider it an atmospheric snack. Any other food will not be forthcoming at any point (not even crisps) until breakfast so EAT BEFORE YOU ARRIVE. And pack a snack bar or two in your bag if you suffer from blood sugar issues. And for God’s sake don’t eat the thin yellow peppers.
5. If in the room with the three couches and the TV, try getting a corner seat facing the door to the hallway. (I’m not sure about the layouts of all of the areas where the show is being performed – there are three casts, I’m told – but I’m guessing the action is probably set up on similar lines.)
6. You may need to pee between scenes but if so go immediately after. I’ll never know just what was in that letter Lady Macbeth got, but she sure got excited about something.
7. In fact, for toliet timing, I suggest the moment immediately after Duncan is offed. The bit after is VERY LONG and does not feature anything in the play itself.
8. Smokers: you might want to secrete some on your body or bring e-cigs as after 5 hours you’ll be dying. There is patio access so you can get a smoke in, though it might be hard to figure out when you can do this without having a scene take place. My advice: the build up to the attack (Birnam Woods marching) is lengthy; it’s a nice time to admire the view even if you don’t smoke.
9. Is it worth spending the night in uncomfortable circumstances? No: the show ends before we go to bed so if you want to cab it home, you genuinely won’t miss anything in the morning. Staff was very accommodating about letting people get their stuff (including our confiscated phones) and leave early.
10. The beds (if you got beds) are actually pretty comfy: I slept like a champ and got in about 6 1/2 hours before we were awakened. However, there was one wash rag and a bathroom that was suffering from an excess of Damned Spots so be advised that the hospitality situation is quite straitened – even getting cups for water required a bit of an effort and you certainly won’t be bathing – just sleeping in a bunk bed.
11. Breakfast is served at about a quarter til nine and consists of tea, coffee, croissants, and fresh fruit. I found this completely adequate and really enjoyed visiting with my fellow hard core theater goers. Final checkout is at ten.

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One Response to “Webcowgirl’s guide to surviving Rift’s Macbeth (Balfron Towers)”

  1. RIFT Macbeth | I Am No Bird Says:

    […] Webcowgirl and Playhouse Pickings have already written really helpful guides to the experience, so all I will do is emphasise the importance of following their tips – they came in very handy for me. Having said that, there were no super-hot peppers at our banquet – only perfectly innocuous, not at all spicy ones. I felt rather smug that I’d heeded the warnings about eating beforehand and going to the loo (I spent a couple of hours at Westfield Stratford before heading to Langdon Park DLR) as many of my fellow audience members were dying for the toilet almost immediately and when we were finally allowed to go there was a huge queue. […]

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