Well, we’ve been here for four days now and already we’re thinking about moving on to our second venue! The flight over went very smoothly and we arrived at Tokyo Narita on Tuesday morning to be pleasantly surprised by how warm the weather was. Kamakura is just over an hour from the airport by coach and once we’d checked in to the hotel, people set off to explore the area.

Unfortunately the skies had been clouding during the day and by the end of the afternoon it had started to rain. The rain lasted until Friday morning and has been quite spectacularly heavy at times; particularly on Thursday when those who decided to make the trip from Kamakura (where the hotel is) to Yokohama (where the theatre is) by train got completely soaked on the walk from the station.

The theatre in Yokohama has a large auditorium and a good sized stage but space backstage is very, very limited which has made for an interesting couple of days. The stage and lighting departments have had the equivalent of a giant logic puzzle to contend with as they work out where to store everything, but at least the dressing room allocation was very easy as there are only two; one for all the girls and one for all the boys! The wardrobe department have had just as much fun – ironing and laundry is all happening in the corridors. Well, those sections of corridor that aren’t three deep in rails! Someone has likened the experience to doing Sleeping Beauty on mid-scale – I think that’s probably a fairly accurate description! One up-side for me is that in the absence of a dedicated Company Office, I’ve taken up residence in a corner of wardrobe – I’ve had a fantastic and hilarious couple of days sharing a room with Lili, Vanda, Michael and the wardrobe girls; although I’m sure they’re looking forward to getting shot of me once we get to Tokyo!

As I type, we’re in Act III of the Beauty General – the first performance is tomorrow afternoon and then we’re straight off to Tokyo. Sunday is a day of studio rehearals and then on Monday and Tuesday we’re at the U-Port Hall with the double-bill. Tuesday night’s performance is a fundraising gala in aid of the Earthquake and Tsunami Appeal; we’re all very pleased to be able to do something practical to help. Life in this part of Japan is pretty much back to normal after the disaster – the only really noticeable difference is the power saving; once the sun sets it’s really noticeable how many lights and neon signs remain switched off.

It’s time for me to sign-off now as it’ll soon be time to start rounding people up for the coach journey back to the hotel!

More soon!

Paul (Grist – Company Manager)

Although I wrote this yesterday afternoon, I’ve only just got round to posting! Between then and now, we’ve done our first performance of the tour (which went very well – a really great show which was enthusiastically received by a very appreciative audience), the technical staff have packed everything and loaded it back onto the trucks, and we’ve all moved on to Tokyo! Time for bed now – but more soon! P