One of the joys of working with director Delyth Jones is that she doesn't even try to mince her words when she thinks that you have done something crap. All of the cast (not to mention the musicians) have got used to her giving us notes like "you know that thing you did in that scene? Don't do that" and "yeah, you're loving that bit too much now, I'm taking it away from you".
As the show's writer it is even more clear cut when she thinks something is a bad idea. And of course, throughout the fertile creative ground of the rehearsals I had plenty of inspired new thoughts which were met with a raised eyebrow and a tiny shake of the head which condemned them to a quick, dusty death.
So for the sake of posterity, rather than lose them altogether, I'll take this opportunity to give you some of my greatest ideas that will now never see the light of day thanks to the Delyth Jones filter...
- John Prescott saying "bloody hell, it's hot in here" removing his shirt to reveal a Rab C. Nesbit-style string vest underneath. Paul Sockett, our Prescott, was very happy with this idea, so it clearly fit in with his conception of the character. Just not the director's.
- A more recently rejected idea was to have Michael Fish finish his weather report and then sit in the corner of the stage with his weather map glugging a bottle of wine for the remainder of the scene. Rejected out of hand without so much as an explanation.
- At one point Blair's phone rings with music from Wagner's Ring. My feeling was that Gordon Brown responding with the line "nice ring tone" would be funny on so many levels ("nice Ring tone", "nice ring, Tone") it absolutely had to go in. The director didn't agree.
- The final song, "Party's Over", proved inspiration for many, many good ideas, most of which didn't quite make it into the show. Such as Tony Blair stripping off his suit to reveal a tight pair of leather trousers and "Tony Blair" daubed onto his naked torso in glitter. Or a guitarist dressed as Brian May standing on a model of Buckingham Palace in the background.
Of course, Del leaves Edinburgh in a few days, so it may be that we can sneak these things into the show without her knowing. And who knows what other brainwaves we might have while she's away...