Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Glasgow, Scotland

May 24, 2006

After a two week jaunt on the Continent, having Continental breakfasts and driving around in our rented Lincoln Continental (just kidding), Claire and I regrouped in the Chatelet station of the metro in Paris and made our way to Aeroport Charles De Gaulle. The metro, technically it was really the RER or commuter railroad, was fine despite the many irritating stairs that we were forced to lug our luggage through in the Chatelet station. But once we got to the airport, our journey began in earnest. I don't know what it is about that particular airport but I feel it has been purposely designed to confound all logic and common sense. It is huge of course and the signs are confusing and this clogs the common areas with loads of befuddled travelers trying to figure out where they should go. And let's just say that the post September 11 world of additional security measures, plus the advent of take away coffee in France has not made things any better. I was soundly lectured at the metal detector by the security fellow who said I should not bring cafe creme through security in the future because I could be hiding something in the murkiness that is French coffee. O, la la.

We arrived finally in Scotland and came to the hotel and settled ourselves. Claire and I then took a walk around the main shopping district or "“high street" as they say in these parts. Claire took me on a special tour of the Quality Hotel, which is where TBA stayed the last time they were in Glasgow. It is an enormous, byzantine establishment that is wrapped around the outside layer of the train station and is in the process of being renovated. It is also quite haunted, according to some of The Builders that stayed there last time. Yes, ghosts were encountered by company members. Claire and I climbed to the tippy top floor which is sort of derelict and though it was broad daylight, it certainly was a good setting for a haunted scene, if ever there was one.

I met up with the tech fellows yesterday morning at breakfast, where they could be found fortifying themselves for the first day in the theatre by eating eggs and doing sudoku. They wandered off to the Tramway, the venue where we are performing, and I stayed behind reading the paper and shortly Marianne and Tanya appeared, jet-lagged yet radiant, fresh off the plane from New York. We had a little breakfast together and then I dispensed them off to naps and I headed to the high street to poke around.

It took barely 24 hours, but I heard my first bagpipe version of Scotland the Brave on Buchanan Street and it was a lady piper. They are all about the piping here in Glasgow and there is a school of piping and a museum of piping. I look forward to more encounters with the piping as the week unfolds.

Had a lovely dinner last night with our old friend Kate Stannard, who you might recall from one of the earliest posts of this blog, way back in August. She lives here and is fully Scottish and is just a pip. She's working hard at lots of projects, including a new piece called Slope, which will also be at the Tramway in July and is designed and directed by our very own other Scot, Mister Stewart Lang. It was lovely to see Kate, who is flourishing and she took us to a great vegetarian restaurant called Grassroots Cafe, which she accurately described as "“dead nice".

Today we load in and continue the life cycle of the show once again. Please tell all your friends in Glasgow to come see the show. Even folks from Edinburgh might want to make the trip west. C'’mon, it's not that far. We'll take ya out for a wee dram after the show.…

More later,


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