When I accepted the task of finding props for Team Gary, I foolishly assumed it would be the ordinary, run of the mill stuff. You know, the usuals – a chair, a table, a pint glass. However as the props list began to grow I had a realization – I had almost certainly been mistaken.
Prop Mission One – Find a Jukebox. Easy peasy I thought, I can definitely hire one of those from- then James added “Cheap or Free.” Ah. Now we had issues. Most jukeboxes were super expensive even to hire, never mind buy! Where on Earth was I going to find a jukebox?
I tried the usual haunts – Preloved, Gumtree, eBay but alas all the jukeboxes were all so far out of our price range that we would probably need a telescope just to catch a glimpse of them. Panic was building as more and more searchs and emails turned up nothing. But then it hit me – not everyone has an iPhone, that means not even has autocorrect and not everyone can spell. So I crawled back to eBay and began to type in variations of spelling jukebox. Nothing, I was about to give up when I decided to try one last dodgy spelling. One result – 99p starting bid with no reserve. Perfect, but now for the moment of truth – the location. It had to be near enough for us to drive and pick up in a van. I was bracing myself for yet more disappointment – London, Brighton, Plymouth or maybe somewhere super cool like Aberdeen? I look and then… elation! It was only down the road in Accrington! Hurrah!
Thought the trauma was over? Think again, now it was time for a bidding war, but Team Gary came out victorious and the jukebox was ours for just £25 – BARGAIN. Then of course came storing it but thankfully I have a key to my Mum’s shed and where does she live? Burnley which is next to Accrington. SORTED.
Now I thought after that mammoth task the rest would be simple and some props were – alcohol, clothes, toys, but the hardest was yet to come… in the form of let’s say a certain callibre of magazine that you might traditionally find stored high above your eyeline. This was not going to be an easy task, it was going to be a Herculean task. It would be a test of endurance and how well I knew Salford’s scummiest shops. James and I jumped into our formidable chariot (aka Fanny the Ford Ka) and I drove him to every grim newsagents I knew, each time dumping James and locking my car doors but seven shops later with only one shop left we were empty handed. Not one magazine, nothing, nada. The shops were evidently not as grim as they appeared. Then we saw it, the grimmest shop of them all, so grim I couldn’t even park near it, I had to drive down the road onto an even grimmer estate. James set off, and I sat nervously tapping to ‘Two Tribes” until James arrived with what I will describe as some interesting reading.
Along with a Woolworths carrier (which are £3-5 each on eBay just in case you have any lurking around) these props were without a doubt the hardest I have ever had to source. But Team Gary now have all their props, and I have learnt a number of skills in being resourceful and how to get good props cheap. Opening night is just around the corner and the excitement is certainly palpable.
Bring on our first performance! Go Team Gary!