PuSh Around the World
June 13, 2010
by PuSh Festival Associate Producer and Best Before Tour Manager Dani Fecko
On May 3, Best Before set off on the first leg of a multi city tour (13 to be exact) that will stretch into December 2010. The first leg took us to On the Boards in Seattle, the Hau in Berlin and the Brighton Festival in (you guessed it) Brighton.
Traveling with a group of 8 to 10 people, their personal luggage, and 19 additional freight cases is no small task. To give you an idea – our Technical Director, James Foy, showed up at Vancouver Airport at 6:30am with all of our cases and started clearing our carnet. He only walked to our gate at 9:30am for our 10:10am flight. It took him exactly 3 non-stop hours to check in and clear customs. We have been developing relationships with check in agents all over the world, all of whom have been amazing with helping us get everyone and everything on the plane.
Well… most of the time. After a 30 hour travel day that took us from Seattle to Vancouver to Heathrow to Berlin we happily went through security and eagerly awaited our bags only to discover that 10 of our show freight cases didn’t arrive! After sending the company to the hotel, James and I spent some time at the airport and then the theatre trying to track everything down. To our relief six of the most important cases arrived the next evening, 3 more came 2 days later and we picked up the last case as we checked in to fly to London.
Berlin also saw us rehearsing in a new cast member, Arjan Dhupia, who performed his role in German. It was an exciting challenge for us all and we hope that it added a more connectable element for the local audience. We also used subtitles in Germany, though we couldn’t start a show without testing the large, iron fire curtain, nor could we perform without having two fire marshalls in the theatre.
Life on the road certainly is unexpected but the rewards are more than worth it. It was humbling to really experience being part of a global theatrical family – and to work with people who were willing to do whatever it took to make sure we put on the best show possible. It’s good to know that there are new friends to be had all over the world.
We worked in a beautiful contemporary arts space in Seattle, one of the only theatres to survive the war in Berlin and an arts university in Brighton. At the end of the day it was a journey of discovering how the collective conscious of our audience shifted from Seattle to Berlin to Brighton, and how in each city everyone enjoyed themselves.