Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

A new job and a new city

Tomorrow I start my new job in the Marketing department of Theatr Clwyd. It’s been 3 weeks of “changes” to say the least. I’m usually relatively risk and change averse so to find myself living in a new city, starting a new job, where I’ll be driving for an hour each day is pretty galling but also pretty exciting.

I have to admit that the new job is the part that is worrying me the least. That’s not to say over the past week my mind hasn’t run wild as I sleep with various permutations of disasters that, realistically, would never happen. The first dream was last last week and involved me turning up to work on the first day in Wales (which looked suspiciously like Hull – imagine my horror) to be told very matter of fact that they’d chosen to rebuild the theatre and was I any good at DIY – a dream that is incredibly dull but also impossible – noone would ever trust me to rebuild a whole theatre, and certainly not when they were relying on me for assorted woodworking skills.

It’s been weird seeing things I programmed and did in Liverpool with a sense of detachment. I was torn whether to go to see the wonderful Mark Watson, but then at the same time thought it might be a bit weird to go back to my former place of work so quickly. There’s previews in July with lots of people who are a) great and b) I know (Bilal Zafar, Adam Rowe, Che Burnley to name  a few), so I might pop back to see them. It reminded me of the comedy nights we use to run at York Theatre Royal. Huge sprawling epic club shows where you’d get 600 – 800 people laughing at a mixed bill of acts. I remembered that the first one we did the interval lasted 35 mins because the bars were so busy. Its remarkable how much has changed in the past 10 years really.

Moving to Chester has been interesting and slightly nerve wracking. It’s odd moving from somewhere where you have a big support network to somewhere that feels altogether more isolated despite Liverpool being 45 mins down the tracks. We’ve moved house and we still have a room (actually 3 rooms) which could solely be described as having the purpose of box storage. It’s been really nice to move into a proper housey house opposed to the flat which while lovely could feel a bit claustrophobic. It’s the little discoveries about a new house that both torment and simultaneously amuse me. Our dishwater has a setting to delay washing dishes. Why is that? Who thinks “I’ve filled this up, it’d be great if it came on in 12 hours time?” Helpfully the previous tenants have also removed all the labels from the dishwasher meaning it’s more a Russian Roulette style of washing. Chester feels a little bit like Scarborough to be honest – it has that small town sort of vibe, pleasant and lovely and a slowly pace.

If I’m truly honest the bit which is worrying me is the drive from Chester to Mold. I’m not a confident driver at the best of times and have a habit of rerouting myself to avoid places where I’ve had issues. So far I’ve changed my route to work to avoid 3 roundabouts (one which shit me up), but also avoiding changing roads on account of being nearly run off the road the last time I attempted to change lanes. That said my little car (Skoda Fabia 1.4 Comfort, 2003) has performed admirably and since the introduction of Radio 4 to my drives I seem a little more serene.

Anyway, I start tomorrow and will probably blog a bit about how things are going. If you’re ever in Chester do say hello, etc… Oh and my final stand up gig is this Friday in Chorley. I’m quitting for a while to focus on the job (and also because I’ve massively lost my nerve, which should be interesting as I’m MCing).. See you soon!