by Jez Bond

We’re in Dave’s trusty Volkswagen, driving through the snow on our way home from Stratford upon Avon. It was great to see Flip Tanner from the RSC again and talk about the possibility of getting some bits and bobs from the old theatre for the Park. Many congratulations to Flip who, after a long stint at the RSC, is now off to head up the UK division of theatre consultants Fischer Dachs (or Basement Jacks as Dave likes to call them). It was really nice to tour round again, having been a few months ago when it was still a building site, and to see it all finished with people milling around, browsing in the foyer, eating in the restaurant. One of our highlights was sneaking a peak at the dress rehearsal of a very special supporters evening, with RSC veterans Sir Anthony Sher and Bill McCabe amongst others. Sadly, however, this did mean that we were unable to return to the stage for a reprisal of our RSC bow which we had so enjoyed previously.

After a lovely meal in Vintner (thanks for the recommendation Flip!) which beat the socks of the dire offering at the neighbouring pub that we sampled last time, we headed to the Courtyard theatre to see Matilda. Walking past composer and lyricist Tim Minchin and a group of buzzing kids in the foyer it was fantastic to see the theatre so alive. Whilst of course this space (the prototype of the RST) has been occupied for years, last time we toured it was during a quiet tech. The show was marvellous. A great blend of comedy, music, magic and love. The kids were all magnificent but for us it was Bertie Carvel as Miss Trunchbull who stole the show, seeming to epitomise the very essence of Dahl and Blake.

The lights of London loom ahead as the snow falls heavier on Dave’s waterless windscreen. Has the well frozen or are his trusty wipers finally on the way out?

Lovingly written by Dave and Jez… together…. but not in that way…… (though we’ve had a lovely day in Stratford).

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