We finally arrived at the end of our intensive rehearsal period, and the first show was looming. But there was still a lingering thought in the back of my mind – would the show fit in the van? It took us four hours, with measuring tapes and several attempts, before we arranged everything in such a way that it would all fit it. It was a big team effort.
Then we were off to Battle, in Hastings, and the first performance of BELLEVUE HOTEL. We had an early start to make sure we were ready, and to give us time to deal with any problems- the main one being that the performing area was on quite a slope! We did some safety checks and found that all was well, and that, in fact, the slope added a bit of character to the set (see the link to our video of setting up for the first time).
It was a nice friendly festival. Mandy and Naomi looked after us really well, and the audiences, although not large, were very appreciative. It is such a shame that the road through Battle is so busy, but the traffic noise did not seem to spoil the festive atmosphere. At the end of the day, after the set was packed in the van, Simon and I went on a circular, evening walk in the countryside around the town. It was a strange and surreal walk because we were both so exhausted from the mental focus of the previous few months. That evening we went out for a celebratory meal with our two teenage sons, who are both involved in the show. We can now start looking forward to our summer tour.