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Production Diary Week 6 – All Good Things…

What’s the old saying? The show must go on? Indeed it has as far as production of The Prisoner is concerned. Unfortunately for yours truly, it must go on without me. Despite an optimistic preliminary diagnosis of my ankle injury, the orthopedic surgeon this week told me he strongly recommends surgery. It’s funny because during my doctor’s visits I would stare at the ankle diagram, and for my tendon to wander over my ankle as it was doing I had already suspected what he eventually told me. This means I’ll be waving goodbye to warm, quiet and (mostly) safe Swakopmund and welcoming a month of freezing rain in Cape Town while my foot heals in a cast. What a pity.

This will be my final production diary, but aside from my own misfortunes the news I have to report is all positive. Nick Hurran, the new director, is very professional and since taking over a few weeks ago has developed a a good rapport with the actors and crew. He’s very business-like and efficient. Even more an inspiration has been Sir Ian McKellen’s presence. Aside from his acting — which you don’t need me to tell you is excellent — he brings a relaxed, warm, and giving vibe that has put everyone at ease.

We shot a scene that involves one of the characters hitting another one, which became increasingly amusing the more takes we had to do. When Ian became involved, it turned into a veritable laugh riot!

The crew have just got on with it after a small initial adjustment, and are now coping with the fact that they will be shooting for an extra unspecified number of weeks — part of the business, to be sure. I’ve been trying to arrange an interview with producer Trevor Hopkins, but he has been extremely busy with all the changes in recent weeks, and hasn’t had much time. Nevertheless, I’m amazed at how he always remains the image of decorum. Hopefully I’ll talk to him before I leave. And afterwards? The knife. Freezing rain. A cast for a month. Unemployment.

It’s been a gas — and I can’t wait to see the finished product. Thanks for reading.

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