Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sands UK Tour, Day Seven: Lincoln

Ten years ago this month, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Charity (SANDS UK) sent my solo performance I Hate This (a play without the baby) on a seven date tour of Great Britain.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Feedback from the Sands conference on Tuesday!

Out of 98 forms:
Please evaluate, scoring from 4 - 1
( 4 - e x c e l l e n t ; 3 - g o o d ; 2 - f a i r ; 1 - p o o r )

“I hate this” A play without the baby a solo performance – David Hansen
4 - 88.88% 3 - 9.10% 2 - 2.02% 1 - 0%
Comments: Fantastic / Amazing / Awesome/ Inspirational / All nurses should see this/ Unique and exceptional / too intense / too personal

I agree, it is too intense and personal. I'm an intense and personal guy.

In Lincoln, we are staying at the White Hart, which is this ... okay, I have an insufficient vocabulary for things opulent and beautiful. It is enough to say our stage manager refuses to leave tomorrow, and her room is half as nice (and a quarter as large) as ours is.

Lincoln Cathedral
The picture at your right is the view from our window. That's what we get to wake up to and go to be at night looking at.

Last night at dinner at the Wig and Mitre. I noticed a number of photos of Tom Hanks from local papers, laminated and hanging on the wall in the staircase. As I was managing small feet up and down the stairs each time, I didn't read it up close, and just figured Tom Hanks had spent a vacation here.

Well, no. As Westminster Abbey refused to let Ron Howard film the relevant scenes from The Da Vinci Code that take place there in their actual location, the people of Lincoln Cathedral were only too happy to provide theirs as a substitute. And so the entire city played host to a major Hollywood picture for a few days in August, 2005.

This morning the wife and I met with our contact, who took us to the studios of BBC Lincolnshire for a noontime interview. I don't think they were planning to have my wife on the air, but we pressed for it, which I think is a good thing. Like having her participate in the post-show discussions, she provides perspective that I forget ... or have difficulty articulating. I don't know what's happened to me that I have totally lost the ability to answer a simple question in a short period of time.

Our interviewer asked very intelligent and thoughtful questions. I think we got the show over pretty well. There was this amusing exchange where our contact was explaining, quite rightly, that the show is about a serious subject, and that it's not necessarily "night out" material. My wife did her best to also point up that it is still a play, and an entirely appropriate form of entertainment for people who are looking for a good drama.

Our contact got to share with us about her daughter, whom she lost seventeen years ago. She's worked so hard on this mission, has been involved with Sands for many years. One interesting, and potentially helpful anecdote; she had occasion to relocate the meetings she was organizing. They couldn't be at her home, and having them in a church would be problematic. So she hosted it at a restaurant, a kind of a pub. And the attendance of fathers went up dramatically.

She says she believes the possibility of having a drink (to wit; "I'm not going to a support group, I'm having a pint,") was probably what brought them out.

And I think she's right.

Original blog post: June 14, 2007

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