Behind the curtains at the Grand Old Lady Roxy, there is something that awaits you. A world of possibilities. Magical thinking. History. Stories. All the feet that have trodden those old boards. Irreplaceable. That feeling. Elusive, ephemeral, seductive, transformative – the magic of the theatre. A century of ghosts and spirits in the riggings, behind the curtains, in the backstage corners and crannies. This day, February 7 2021 – things start to take shape. The sense of wonder never fades in the Roxy Theatre. Our beautiful cathedral of dreams.

Jake, Simon, Sam, Jaz, Robyn, Cynthia, Tim, Mahendi, wandering around the theatre all afternoon. Looking at the riggings, at the stage, at the lights, at the space. Simon and Jaz drove down separately from Sydney. Jaz is quiet and gorgeous – taking measurements and taking photos – thinking lighting all the time. A kind of Dua Lipa Lighting Goddess. Simon is all calculations and cooking up schemes – looking up, looking around, asking questions. Reminiscing about his time in Barellan as a child. The Golden Apple. Barellan Central School. A  long way from there to the Ensemble Theatre. But here he is returning to his roots – drawn by his friendship with Jake, by the magic of this grand building in the middle of the Western Plains of NSW – more majestic than anything you could imagine – red brick exterior – velvet and candles and wooden boards and warm warm light within.

The backstage magic is the stuff of sagas. Irresistible. In the blood and dreams of those raised on its shadowy heady brew. High to the riggings. Waiting in the wings. Blinded by the lights and lurking in the folds of giant velvet curtains. The smell of dust and wood and makeup and sex and sweat and excitement. The gravity of that holy space. How we move and grow and make within it, like a church, like a covenant. So many memories. So many stories. So much history. So much at stake.

Measure and discuss and plan and feel the space – visualise the set, the lights, the sounds, the place being created where the play will unfold, 500 years of waiting for the King to come alive here. 100 years of passion and drama in this sacred theatre space. #roxyhenryv

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