So, we're taking a play up to Edinburgh this year. We've got a script, a director, a great venue and a lovely timeslot.
The one thing we're missing (and have been for a while) is an actor. We're aiming for a famous one - sadly our budget stretches to a nice hotel room, but no pay. This proves unsurprisingly off-putting.
Typical of this is the answering machine message my producer's just been left from one of the country's top board-treaders:
"Hello there, it's XXX XXX here. You've very kindly sent me a great script. I can't do it, and here's why - I'm getting divorced, it's the unhappiest year of my life, and apart from that I'm being clobbered for an enormous amount of alimony at the moment... And that's the only reason why I can't be in Edinburgh with you, but I'd love to. Many apologies... unless you can come up with a busload of money."
Plan B was that one of us would play the part of David Niven. Sadly, the best person for that turns out to be our director, Kate.