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9th June 2009

Well we are coming up to opening night and the butterflies are swarming (stomach wise). We have been in the actual theatre the last few days doing technical rehearsals, which are strongly needed. It is a very complex production, set and sound wise, with many crowd scenes. The actual stage is amazing, with loads of potential Ė however there is no shelter from the elements and the first day here, the heavens opened as they do in the UK on occasion, so we all got very wet. There are mosquitoes aplenty as we are right beside the Boise River and when we rehearse in the blazing sun, a good chance of sunburn. I have also been told that the winds can really come up and they have to take the set down. And if the rain comes the audience will NEVER leave! We the actors have to go first.

As I said the standard of acting is amazingly high and we could take this production straight into London and New York, without any problem. One forgets how many good and working actors there are all over the US and the UK outside the rarified sphere of the Ďstarí world. We had a nail biting opening the first preview Ė we started and the heavens opened and we quickly had to cancel. Same thing happened the next night, the official first night, this time we didnít even get started. So tail between our lags we sloped off. The adrenaline had been pumping, so it was quite a letdown. BUT the third night all went well and we had preview, first night and family night all in one. It was lovely and since MY family was there, maybe it was meant to be.

There is a beautiful wild peacock living around the theatre, which is not fenced off from the countryside, and it joined in the show, with its mournful cry. I think it wants to be an actor.

The stage has quite a rake and is made of some kind of hard compound, which gets very slippery when wet and the trick is not to go sliding off into the audience. The rain is quite rare here, so there isnít any kind of cover on the stage or the auditorium. At least thatís what I am told! In case you want to see whatís all about, the web site is www.idahoshakespeare.org

I am only in the ĎComedy of Errorsí so have quite a bit of free time to spend with the family and play golf. I took up golf a couple of years ago and really love it.


I am a member of the Stage Golfing Society, a wonderful golfing organization, full of many of the great and glorious, which started around the end of the century before last. There have been many illustrious names associated with the society; at one point Laurence Olivier was Captain.

Golf is a great game for working out your competitive instincts (mainly competing with yourself), making yourself very pleased with yourself and in the next moment dejected at your own uselessness. I watched Tiger Woods at the weekend on TV, winning a tournament, what a great athlete and did you see Federer winning the French Open? Another great athlete. Wimbledon soon.

When I was young and at boarding school, I loathed sports and did everything to get out of doing it. I made the hockey teacherís life hell, but I found slithering around in the mud in the freezing cold, waving a wooden stick, completely insane. In the summer during cricket, I sat in the deep field, making daisy chains! Sadly nobody explained the mental and emotional benefits of doing sport to me. Had they done so and not harped on about the team spirit all the time, I might have been more responsive and ready to have a go. I was quite an unpleasant child regarding this subject and now I regret it. Late in life I have come to enjoy the benefits of sport and probably could been a good athlete, had I had a better attitude and had the benefits properly explained to me. Itís tragic that sports have almost disappeared from school curricula. Young people would gain so much self esteem and confidence from doing regular sports and these are characteristics which eluded me until later in life. So that is my bleat about sports, get and keep your children out and active.

I am enjoying myself here in Idaho, but I do feel very cut off from the rest of the world, or rather my world, London based. I can get the BBC World news on TV which is a blessing and one of the young actors tell me that I could get BBC pod casts, if I only had an I-phone. The Internet is a blessing though, I can get news from that. I guess the poor UK is still wobbling around with our Government and the recession. The European election results were rather a surprise. Funny isnít it, the US has gone centre left and Europe has now gone centre right.Jane

Well dear readers, thatís all for now.

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