Ottawa!

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Monday, September 17, 2007

I’m at my brother’s family home in Ottawa. It is absolutely stunning weather. The sun is shining in a cloudless blue sky; it’s warm, and feels like late summer rather than fall. I sit and have a glass of wine with my sister-in-law in the back garden. Perhaps we are getting payback for those relentlessly rainy days of July. They are calling for beautiful weather all week! I’m sure the NAC has organised this! They are on top of everything!

The drive up was so pleasant. Such an amazing country we live in. It’s so stunning when you break into the Shield around Kingston. And the hawks were out in plenitude: hawk is the messenger. I trust that they are all bringing us good news.

We have learned that Josette will not be joining us for rehearsals in Ottawa. This is a huge disappointment to me. I am ever the eager one, and was hoping for some notes from the director, and a really fresh perspective. Rae McKen, our assistant director, is fantastic, but she has been with the process and watched it grow incrementally. I will be interested to hear what Veronica and Warren have to say, as they have not see the show since it opened. They will provide the fresh eyes and ears, I hope.

Ottawa is already treating us like royalty: in our welcome packages we have invitations from both the British High Commission and from Rideau Hall. “Smart Casual” is the dress code. So I can’t wear the “dumb casual” clothes that are the usual wardrobe. This is a big deal for the NAC. I hope we’re up for it. I hope our European colleagues are as excited to be here as we were excited to be in their stomping grounds.

The thing is, while we have had a week off at home, four of them have been doing their closing week of Macbeth and Macbett at the Northern Stage in Newcastle. And then they have had the same nightmarish journey that we had a week ago. So they will be jet-lagged and pooped. We’ll have to do our best to pick them up. I’m sure that the idea of making theatre in another country will energise them.

I look forward to rehearsals tomorrow. I’m sure there will be a huge flutter of conversation and exchange of news and excitement. And we will find out more about our absent director, and how things will proceed here without her. Stay tuned.

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