We just got back from the most incredible tour to the UK. Taking our puppet show, The Grimstones, on tour many, many times a year sounds very glamouous, but to be honest, it's kind of exhausting. And while we get to go to amazing places, we are often working so hard we don't get to see that much of them. So my expectations of our tour to the UK were not high.
Happily it was one of those tours with enough space in our schedule that we got to see a bit of Glasgow and a bit of Liverpool. I tell you, it astonishes me how the "mother country" can be so very similar, and yet so utterly different in so many subtle ways.
In Glasgow, my very favourite thing was this clothing shop we passed on the walk to the theatre. Check out what they had in the window:
Our shows were sold out, by the way, which made it very satisfying. Even more satisfying was the way the audiences were so WITH us, every moment of the show, laughing at the smallest bits of comedy we performed. Lovely.
I had the very novel experience of being followed around by a TV crew for a day and a half. They filmed me eating breakfast, homeschooling Jesse, spinning angora yarn backstage before a show... doing everything except picking my nose! I had to go a whole day without picking my nose once.. can you imagine! Anyways, apparently this will be on Wicked, by Remark! some time next year. I'll keep you posted :).
One of the best things about being on tour was our amazing crew. Paula, Jesse and I stayed in an apartment with Tim, our stage manager, and Cleo, our nanny. It was like a non-stop party, as we crapped on to each other late into a night, as part of our post-show wind-down. Both Tim and Cleo are amazing with Jesse. Cleo was a proper Mary Poppins, and as we caught the train to Liverpool she turned out to have a bag full of games and goodness to keep Jesse happy as we travelled:
In Liverpool I was struck by some of the weird arty stuff around - just my kind of thing. I caught a snap of this:
I didn't get a snap of the man sitting nude-except-for-loin-cloth in the shop window, his body painted with the words "Think of the potential..." Nor of the window display of stacks of tins of tomatoes, on the labels had been doctored so that the company was called "Pure Murder" I gathered it was a protest about Guatemalans sending their tomatoes to Liverpool. I didn't really understand it, though it intrigued me. And later I saw a tin with the same branding called "Del Monte".. hmm, perhaps I'll google them. Anyway, I love to see art making statements on the street, and there's not enough of that where I live.
In Liverpool, when we weren't performing, I spent heaps of time sitting in our 10th floor apartment, spinning. The view, as I spun, was this:
When I turned away from the view, I'd find Tim and Jesse snuggled up, yapping on to each other, and I can't tell you how good it is to have a team that makes us all feel like a family.
Now we're home.. I'm kind of on holidays.. and boy, life is really really really good!