I've been working on building the summer 2010 season over the past few weeks. Every time I think I've got it figured out I walk away from it and then come back to it and change my mind about something. I know that sooner or later I'll have to commit, but right now there's a lot of indecision.
And there's plenty to be indecisive about. Last summer was (almost) a total disaster, with only the shows in Belwood amounting to anything approaching what I needed them to be (in terms of bums in seats - creatively it's a whole other ball game, one that sadly has little do to with play selection).
It's absolutely essential that we avoid what happened in 2009. I've spent a lot of time analysing the causes of our collapse, both internal and external, and my preparations this year have been couched in making sure that as many of the factors that caused last year's failures do not happen again.
I think I've got those specific problems taken care of, but as anyone who works in the business knows it's quite often the things you don't think of that wind up causing you the most grief. How can you foresee the unforeseen?
Well you can't, obviously, but you can prepare for it. I know there will be challenges next year that I can't predict, but I'm putting in place the safeguards now to ensure that we have some way of dealing with them.
I can't tell you too much about what shows we'll be doing in 2010 just yet, but I can tell you that we're already going into that season with more and better preparation than when we went into the last one.