Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Hamburg Get-In: Day 1

We have spent a day weighing out rice for Of All The People In All The World and now a righteous thunderstorm is breaking over Hamburg. In stark contrast to those that met the show in Stuttgart three years ago, this storm is welcome. There we were set up with 104 tonnes of rice in a leaking former tram shed. Here we have 12 tonnes of rice in a grand and (we presume) watertight Chamber of Commerce building. It’s been a clammy day but nature’s own great de-humidifier is currently sorting that out.

No matter how many times we do this show I remain anxious leading up to the first get-in day. It’s the day of big decisions that set the course of all that is to follow. Today, more acutely than ever, I was aware of how little time I spend with the show. As we grappled with various layout options Jake’s extraordinary experience working the show came to the fore, full of suggestions as to how strategies and statistics used in other cities could be applied to this new set of circumstances.

Being in a Chamber of Commerce building has it’s advantages, not only is it grand and in the City Centre right behind the Town Hall but within an hour someone was offering to buy all the rice. At this rate Kampnagel may find themselves at the centre of a bidding war and if the price of rice keeps rising they may find themselves making a profit on a show with no entrance fee.

Performing in Germany is good for moral: Reason Number 12 – The Media Rock Up.

Our experience is that in Germany you are guaranteed at least one TV Crew will turn out to preview your show along with couple of newspaper features and possibly a radio slot thrown in for good measure. All the journalists, photographers, camera operators and sound guy (they always are) appear interested in what you’re doing, ask intelligent, rational questions about it and seem to understand why your bothering.

On this occasion elements of the media have been almost uncomfortably keen, insisting on coming halfway through Day 1, when there was virtually nothing to film or photograph. Jake, Chris and I put on costumes and pretending the show was up and running, whilst Graeme and Jack dodged around in civvies, trying to continue the get in whilst keeping out of shot.

Keep your eye out for Of All The People in Die Welt.


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