Last, But Not Least
Dubai, it turns out, is not a bad place at all to finish off the tour of Mary Poppins. Even the fear of the oppressive 40C heat dissipated quite quickly as we realised that was pretty manageable, and the skyline, especially at night, is really breathtaking. The photo above was taken from our rooftop press night party.
We have just three and a half weeks of performances here, running until 25th May, at which point the show gets stored away until its next adventure, whenever that may be. A lot of us are looking forward to a quiet(ish) summer, although after a rather uneventful April work-wise, I'm looking to get the freelancing gears cranking again within a few days of being back.
Talking of April, the 5-week break that followed the run in Zurich was extremely welcome, having been pretty non-stop with work for the six or so months previously. It was lovely to spend the week at my parents, before heading back to London to sort life out and get some crucial drinks in with various friends I hadn't seen for a while. I managed to see a few shows while in town: Half a Sixpence, a really nice update musically but still a very old-fashioned plot; 42nd St, a sublime restoration of the all-singing all-dancing Broadway hit; and The Girls, which I liked much more than I was expecting, largely down to a gorgeous book by Tim Firth and a great ensemble of performers.
I flew out to Dubai on 27th April. It's an area of the world I haven't spent much time in at all, and I've been fascinated to see desert sand dunes and experience the dry heat. The city itself is quite maddening: the sheer amount of money spent on outlandish architecture and plush furnishings everywhere you turn. Everything's new and is literally a world away from what I'm used to in the UK. The theatre, you'll be unsurprised to hear, is a brand new state-of-the-art venue that can shift its entire shape dependent on the type of production inhabiting it. Our show looks stunning on the Dubai Opera stage and sounds equally sumptuous, having been lucky enough to have a show watch last week sat in one of the £15,000 Ferrari Red leather seats in the auditorium.
As a company we are thoroughly enjoying our days by the pool or out exploring, and the show has a feeling of end-of-tour about it as everyone starts making plans for the next adventure. Quite a few of our company members will soon be starting the next big Mackintosh tour, Miss Saigon, for example.
As I said, my next month will involve scouting around for the next bit of full-time work, interspersing that search with some more freelancing. But most of all, I'm looking forward to another summer in the South East!