I'm sitting here, just back from the pub, very pleased that the first night was exceedingly well received by a small, but select, audience (luckily many more are booked in for the last 3 nights...)
I hate this aspect of directing. I sit there watching all the tiny mistakes/missed cues/late sound cues, etc, etc, that the audience don't notice. Cringeing at the errors and wondering how that fantastic cast will get themselves out of the impossible position that they've put themselves in....
Our 'butler' has a scene where he asks the Dean of Paddington for his umbrella at a crucial stage of the action. Tonight he got confused and took the chap's brolly a page earlier than he should have done... What a to-do! Will he recover...? He did - and with a stroke of improvisational genius!
Watching them do it for an audience is both gut-wrenching and exhilarating. But overall, the fact that we held the audience, gripped, for 2.5 hours and made them laugh is everything that we could have wished for.
The audience's reaction is the reward for 3 months of hard work for the actors (plus another 2 months, or more, for the director and designers). This is the night that it all becomes "worth it".