Okay - so I thought it was time for another LA update. We have been in Los Angeles at the Wallis Annenberg Center for 3 weeks now and are having a great time. We are sold out and have had an amazing response to the show. The weather is scorching, yesterday it hit 88 degrees and so finally, with a bit of persuasion, Ian has at last put on his shorts.
We have had a few other first’s while we have been here. We have had our first dog in to watch the show, a gorgeous ‘seeing eye dog’ aptly named Hamlet. Our first security guard who was a giant of man who came with a kindergarten the other day, he towered above them - only in Beverly Hills eh? And this morning we had an earthquake, the biggest for 20 years. We were all fine, though we had different ways of dealing with it. Craig was up and dressed in a flash. Ian and I lay in our beds and waited for it to pass.
The children’s responses to the show have really made us smile. Both Ian and I have had a lot of hugs after the show. One boy was so determined to keep hugging me that he started a Cotton hugging trend until it was just my head sticking out of a dozen small children. I would like to say Hi to Bettyana who came up to me after a show and said “Will you be my best friend?” so just so everyone knows Bettyana and I are bezzies. At another show a little girl got really upset when Wrinkle went back into the tepee for nap time. She kept quietly sobbing and sniffing saying “He’s going to die” over and over again - poor Ian he’s only 66! Then there was the little boy who asked Wrinkle “How did you change the colour of the eggs?” Ian replied “It’s Magic” The little boy looked back at him, waited a moment and then said “No it’s not. You painted them.” And finally to the tiny two year old girl who when i asked what colour her pink top was looked at me like i was an idiot and said “It’s PINK!” and then proceeded to teach me over and again “It’s PINK!”
“She’s got attitude” commented one of the ushers - I found out as she left that she was in fact Scary Spice’s daughter. And on that celebrity vibe we have had a few celebs in this week, Robert Downey Jr. brought his kids, sat on the mats at the front and beamed all the way through. Jennifer Garner brought her kids and said “Thank you so much - it was beautiful.” and we even had some homegrown talent as Henry Ian Cusick popped in as well
More soon from LA.
Yes – it might be early in 2013 but White has already been back on the road, and once again we have been in France – in lovely Lille this time. We have been performing at Le Grand Bleu for the last week, a dedicated space for young audiences and have had a great time, thanks to the amazing staff at the theatre.
The show has gone down really well and, though this time we have performed it in English, the audiences have given us some lovely comments. A woman stayed behind yesterday to tell us that it was a such a pleasure to share something so special with her child – not surprisingly we thought she was tremendous.
Yesterday we had a bit of time for some sightseeing so we went on a bus trip round the city and took in the sights. It really is a beautiful city. A great mixture of old and new with a bit of Dutch and Belgian influence thrown in as well. In true French style we have been treated to some delicious food on our various night time excursions. And we have been suitably impressed at the culinary efforts that the staff brought for their lunches, in the theatre kitchen – though sugar in the yogurt was a new one on us. Sadly we only managed to assemble a cheese and ham baguette each lunchtime.
We even shared an aperitif on our last night at the hotel, courtesy of Dominic the hotel receptionist in the lobby. Think more Best Western lobby than the Savoy but it was a lovely continuation of the friendly Lille hospitality we have experienced while we have been here.
We are now en route to Denmark where we will be touring the country for the next 3 weeks. At the start of our journey Wrinkle has managed to sleep through a whole country – I’m sure it was no comment on what Belgium has to offer. Suzie and myself were suitably alert throughout.
So it’s an Au revoir France and Hej Denmark
This picture was drawn by our suprememly talented Ian Cameron (Wrinkle) it’s a snow-covered image of the port as we left Dover.
Tales of Norge 3
So, here I am on a plane leaving Alesund and my Norwegian adventure is drawing to a close. I have had an amazing month here and have been made to feel very welcome by everyone at the theatre and their friends. I am sad to be leaving. Also for the last few days we have had the most amazing sunshine and I had the chance to get about in the beautiful countryside surrounding the city - it’s astonishing. We went to Trollstigen about 3 hours away from Alesund and admired the incredible view which has been enhanced by a beautifully designed visitors centre. A really brave piece of architecture that really suits the dramatic landscape.
Hvit opened on Saturday and the show couldn’t have been received any better. The audience loved it. Everyone at the parent theatre in Molde loved it too. Jonas and John were great and the show has been given two glowing reviews. In Norway instead of stars they give numbers, like the sides of a dice and both reviewers gave the show 6’s - hoorah!
The group of teenage girls that regularly come to the theatre, otherwise known as ‘Eva’s girls’, did an amazing job of decorating the foyer space before and after the show. As the audience walked into the building they were met with white objects everywhere and by the girls dressed in white with platters of white food. When the children came down again the foyer had been transformed. The girls, now dressed in colour, helped the children to open white eggs inside which were coloured crayons and the children happily drew on the huge banquet table that had been set up for them. It was a total delight.
On my final night in Alesund we had a meal together at Eva’s house. It was lovely. Eva has discovered Jamie Oliver so I was treated to a british dish of Shepherds pie by my norwegian host. I have had a brilliant time here and it was great last night to realize that i have made new friends here in Norway and to all of them i would like to say Tusen takk.
It's nice to see that White still has a place in the billboards outside the New Victory Theater. We had such a great time there.
White has been nominated for a Helpmann Award in Sydney. It is nominated for Best Presentation for Children. We are thrilled. The awards will be held at the Sydney Opera House where White played for a week as part of a six week tour of Australia and New Zealand. The awards are on September 24th.
Catherine Wheels got this lovely comment through from an audience member of White
Went to see White this afternoon and LOVED it, we all did from my 2.5 yr old to her grandparents! I just wanted to share how she described it to her daddy later...
Isla describing the play to daddy...there was lots and lots of colours you know, and two funny men in funny hats, and a dog coming out of the tent, white white white white, he was still knitting there and it was night time..........and eggs!
White has been nominated for a Drama Desk Award in New York. It is nominated for Unique Theatrical Experience. We are all thrilled. The New Victory where we played White have also been given a special award: "For providing enchanting, sophisticated children's theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people." So we are thrilled for them too. The awards are on the 3rd of June.
Got this lovely card through to the office the other day form the Davies family in Dundee - thanks very much for that.
A lovely review by Thom Dibdin in The Stage calls White
'A small but perfectly formed theatrical treat for all ages."
White is out on tour around the UK. It has a new Cotton (Ross Allan) and Wrinkle (Sean Hay) who are both brilliant in the show. Details below of where to catch it.
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Sherman Cymru, Cardiff
Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
The Water Hall , Birmingham
The Egg, Bath
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds
Northern Stage, Newcastle
Curve Theatre, Leicester
31 May - 2 June
Buxton Opera House, Buxton
Lakeside Arts Centre, Chorley
Royal and Derngate, Northampton
The Core at Corby Cube, Corby
Cork Midsummer Festival, Cork