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Washes Whiter

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It's always great when a piece of theatre illuminates some hitherto unexplored (or possibly completely unthought of) aspect of existence. I have just spent the last twenty minutes contemplating the washing machine in our accomodation as it juddered through the non-colourfast cottons cycle.

The reason for this domestic meditation was a contemporary dance piece that Daisy (my housemate's nine-year-old) and I went to see yesterday evening. The piece - Cycle One (60°) - saw four performers, all dressed in white underwear, embodying the experiences of a set of clothes during a hot-wash, whilst all around the air was filled with the throbbing, whirring and whining of the machine itself. It possibly sounds a little unpromising in concept but in execution it is rather wonderful. There is a music and a rhythm to the cycle of the machinery which I had not really noticed before and the show imbues the tumbling washing with a ferocity and tenderness which I found very moving.

Normally, doing the washing is something that I put off until my very last pair of underpants, and even when I finally get around to it, I rarely spare a moment's thought for what's actually happening in the machine. I tend to just leave it to get on with things and come back when it's finished. However, the previous evening's experience lent a certain magic to the whole affair today.

Unfortunately, in my eagerness to launder all our available clothes, I inadvertently washed nearly everything that Daisy had brought with her, with the exception of her pyjamas, which she was wearing at the time. We wanted to see another show this lunchtime and unfortunately didn't discover this fact until just before we had to leave the house. Daisy was somewhat unimpressed, (although in my defence, her method of storing clean clothes is to scrunch them into balls and push them under the bed, which leaves them fairly indistinguishable from the dirty ones). Luckily however, she is not a girl to under-pack and so she went out wearing a rather magnificent cocktail dress that she had brought, "in case we went to a special occasion."

In other news, we spent the whole of yesterday out flyering on the Royal Mile. We gave away about four hundred I think. Daisy claims that at least three hundred of those were delivered by her as she is "a million times cuter" than me. I also had the first of my preview shows, which was attended by the sum total of four people - three of whom were other performers from Greenside. This means that (discounting the Greensiders) the take-up from our flyering so far is 0.25%. Sometimes mathematics can be very depressing ...

Ah well. I may have no audiences and be a million times less cute than a nine-year-old girl, but at least I have a lot of clean shirts.


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