Normally I’d start of this post by saying another week is over and done, just like every other normal week. Except this week wasn’t any ordinary week because my journey to the theatre involved getting on a plane that was flying to, as you’ve probably guessed, Luxembourg.
There was just one small kink in the armour for me at this point…I hate flying. I’ve only ever been on a plane twice and that was a few years ago when I flew out to Greece for a family holiday and then back home again. Despite everyone telling me that it’s the safest form of travel I can never get the fact out of my head that I’m essentially in a large sardine tin that gets propelled thousands of feet above the ground before gracefully falling back to earth. My way of dealing with this was to get an aisle seat which meant that for the vast majority of the journey I could imagine that I was on a train with very small windows. Of course there were still the takeoffs and landings to get through but I there isn’t really any way to avoid those so usually I just grit my teeth and suffer through it. The other thing I don’t like is the whole going through security and waiting around for hours before hand. I find the whole thing too much of a fuss and then you end up waiting around for hours, killing time, before you can get on the plane. That’s one of the reasons I like trains. Apart from the fact that they tend not to takeoff, once you’ve bought your ticket you get on it and go.
Anyway that’s enough of my rant about flying. Once we got to Luxembourg a coach picked us up and took us the hotel, which was apparently voted the Best Hotel in Luxembourg last year. I guess that means it was five stars although there wasn’t really a huge amount of difference from the Jury’s Inn we were all staying in last week. Because we were in a different country the schedule was pretty different. For a start we were only doing three performances instead of the usual eight and after our soundcheck, which was on the wednesday morning, we had time to do a full dress rehearsal of the show for the Luxembourg crew considering that English wasn’t their first language.
A small note on the language, it seems that German is the dominant language in Luxembourg which makes sense considering that they’re next to each other. However, they all also seem to be able to speak fluent French. In addition to that there’s also a native language for Luxembourg and they also speak pretty good English. God only knows what their language lessons are like in school but I’ll bet they’re a hell of a lot better than the crummy basic French lessons I was badly taught in Year Seven.
There was one more surprise waiting for us though. Just before our first show we were told that the etiquette at the end of a show is slightly different in Europe. If an audience really like a show then they keep on clapping and the cast are expected to keep on going for curtain calls until they stop. Of course when we told this we had no idea if that would really apply to us considering that our ten minute finale is really just an extended curtain call anyway. We also had no idea how much a foreign audience would understand the show. Not necessarily because of the language barrier which was pretty minimal, but more if they would understand the references and the overall ‘Britishness’ of the show. So when it came to the end of the first performance we were pretty surprised that we ended up going back on for an extra five curtain calls!
Afterwards, the usual ‘after show drinks’ were replaced with a full blown reception at the theatre with the no less than the British Ambassador…and canapes. All in all it was a pretty good night and it continued to be all week. The audiences were very enthusiastic and in addition to extra curtain calls we even put in a short reprise of the finale. I don’t know what any of us were expecting but Luxembourg has definitely blown us away. It just goes to show how mad touring can be. Last week we were in a small theatre in Derby and this week we’ve been performing in a huge theatre in Luxembourg to amazing crowds every night. Let’s hope that we can get a similar reaction in Skegness for the final week of the tour!