Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Friday, July 21, 2006

At its peak, the Stratford Festival features fifteen plays running simultaneously at four theatres, plus enough other activities to keep everyone continually occupied.
There are weekly lunchtime lectures (with and without lunch) and special lectures. There's a concert program. There are backstage tours, Costume Warehouse tours, and garden tours. There are discussion groups, pre-show lectures and post-show lectures and there are restaurant dinners with members of the cast. We attended one of those last night, and were lucky enough to be sitting next to the talented Bruce Dow, who's playing the role if Mr. Bumble in Oliver! and Luther Billis in South Pacific and graciously agreed to appear on this blog.
Some of the plays are performed on a bare stage, but others -- particularly the musicals --require tons of complicated scenery. At the moment, Coriolanus, Oliver! and Much Ado About Nothing are all playing at the Festival Theatre. So sets are constantly being changed, put up and taken down and put back up again within a 24-hour period. This is called "Changover" and Bao and I got special permission to watch.
I had expected excitement, lots of shouting, noise, and general confusion. It was more like a ballet. A dozen men in hard hats moved slowly, quietly and purposefully around the stage, and as if by magic, backgrounds were hoisted and an entire section of the London Bridge took shape before our eyes. Every move was orchestrated, and every piece of the set fit ieffortlessly nto its place as if it was a gigantic jigsaw puzzle putting itself together.
We'd planned to take some photographs of the Shakespeare Garden in the afternoon sun but it rained, so Bao took me shopping. He really is the most delightful of travelling companions!


Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

Now you're getting into the real fun stuff - behind the scenes and meeting the people. It's the same with us and our art collecting. Getting to know the gallery owners and the artists on a personal basis - and visit their studios. I love it.

4:12 PM


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