Tearing Paper and Moving Chairs
Come on all, come over here
We’re all so pleased to volunteer
MIF 13 with Matt and Fee
Will be the best, just wait and see.
Eating snacks and drinking beer
Quite the thing for a volunteer,
But just you wait till it all starts
And you’ll be there to play your parts.
Tearing paper and moving chairs
Folding suits and climbing stairs.
Arranging flowers and making tea
For Maxine Peake and Kenneth B.
Answering phones and greeting guests
Not much time for taking rests.
Checking scripts at MIF HQ
There’s always lots for us to do.
Manchester’s best will show the way.
Festival Square, on your feet all day,
But smiles we’ll have on the tram or bus
After helping visitors without a fuss.
In years gone by it’s been the same
Music boxes in sun or rain,
The tickets wet and turned to mush
But children’s joy brings such a rush.
Scary angels with Doctor Who
There’s so much here for us to do
To save the world is not a chore
We’ll do it again, just give us more.
There was Bjork and Damon with Doctor Dee
And Carlos Acosta previously.
Naked women and trees upside down
Victoria Wood and Vegas in town.
Kraftwerk and cyclists opened the show
And Marina Abramovic with Willem Dafoe.
This year Dafoe with Barishnykov
But will that really be enough?
There’s Massive Attack and The XX
Goldfrapp and Cherry whatever next.
Of course we’ve got Kenneth and Maxine
And there’s Kasparov against a machine.
You know this year will beat the rest
Cos we’re all here, and we’re the best.
So there we’ll be, come rain or shine
Making friends and giving our time.
In bright blue uniforms we will be seen
We’ll do you proud, MIF 13.
The diary of a volunteer
One more day before it starts
Be still right now my beating heart
I’ve got my shifts and know the sites
So now the bug of Festival bites
I’ve got my jacket, my bag, my shirt
And for the rain I’ll be alert
Cos cold and wet is not much fun.
Let’s hope it’s hot with plenty of sun.
It’s day one, so start Macbeth
The Scottish play, I hold my breath.
The audience seated in their clans
Are Kenneth Branagh’s biggest fans.
Don’t lean forward, or you might get hurt
There’s no readmission, so toilet alert.
There’s so much to tell them, so much to do
No phones or photos. Have you been to the loo?
We’re sitting back stage clearing the mud
The battle in the church boils the blood
The swords are quite sharp, I hope they won’t slice,
Those fighting actors are ever so nice.
It’s only day two, but here we go.
The Old Woman, what an amazing show
Incredible settings and wonderful lighting,
Dafoe and Baryshnikov. Very exciting.
It’s all going well in Festival Square
What lovely weather with arms and legs bare
We’re drinking beer and meeting friends
And today’s the day that Volunteers trend.
The weekend with Chopra and Coal on Cotton
Is something that can never be forgotten.
With background looms and billowing tent
It’s amazing how long there can be spent.
What day is this I think it’s seven
Does seven come before eight or eight before seven?
It’s a busy day with Sonnets and the XX
And lots to eat at the Biospheric project.
At Macbeth it’s Wimbledon with Scots in kilts
Backstage is so hot we’re beginning to wilt
The actors Murray-watch as long as they can
Until they’re called on, to die as a man.
Day eight is like the others before
I’m yawning a bit but still want more
My feet are hurting and my back is sore
But only another 12 days more.
The Machine starts now with lots of chess
The staging and settings are set to impress
Francesca Annis and lovely young Hadley
He’s playing the moves, not doing them badly.
Another day. What am I doing?
I know I’m meant to help with queuing
Help me Matt and Ella and Fee
I’m so tired I can hardly see.
The days are long, but I will assert this
Massive Attack versus Adam Curtis
Was so amazing and quite profound
With rather splendid sight and sound.
I’ve spent today attending Do it.
I’ve hummed and found fun walking through it.
That Thai paste is rather good
I’ll eat it tonight, I know I should.
There’s a bird. I think it’s a vulture
Is this what’s meant by Manchester culture?
On day twelve, I love the most
The fact that Matt has burnt the toast.
Now Ella and Fee will have to lump it
As they go each day without their crumpet.
Someone should put the candles out
At Masque of Anarchy and round about
It’s hot enough for the sweat to flow
But Maxine Peake can only glow.
Each day is great in Festival Square
It’s full of people gathering there
Family fun and lots of ice cream
Chorlton Crack and children’s Daydream.
The public’s smiles and thanks and hugs
Every day our heart strings tug
That’s why we turn up, early and bright
And sometimes work right through the night.
The last day of the festival comes
The gala performance of Macbeth has run
And we’re rewarded with Champagne
Being a volunteer is such a pain.
And now it’s over and it’s all stopped
And for the past few days I’ve flopped
Now what will I do every day
To keep the boredom far away.
It’s two more years before we’ll be
Standing here with Matt and Fee.
MIF 15 won’t be a strain
We’re ready to do it all over again.