It transpired that, with the sheer length of the Matilda Tour (both in performance weeks and rehearsals) I had accrued some additional holiday days. An unexpected bonus, I decided they weren’t going to be wasted days. Most of the scheduled weeks off from the show largely end up being time to take stock at either my flat in London or at my parents in Cheshire. If I’m in London, it invariably turns into a week of admin, washing and theatre-going with the odd box set thrown in of an evening. So I took a few days towards the end of our run in Edinburgh with the aim of driving as far north as anyone can get on the UK mainland.
Before that we had the task of settling the show into the Edinburgh Playhouse for its Scottish premiere. By my workings-out, Matilda the Musical played to its biggest ever audience in the world at this theatre, with over 3,000 patrons in watching at most performances. It’s definitely a different scale to the intimacy of RSC Stratford or the Cambridge Theatre, London! But it made the story & score all the more epic, the performances that bit more rewarding and the ovation at the end just that tiny bit louder…!
Edinburgh is my favourite city to tour to. So many things to do and see, so much history, fine food and drink, and walking around Old and New Towns is an utter joy. I was in two minds as to whether this was the city where I should have holiday, but having now clocked up over a year’s worth of work in the Scottish capital, I felt as though I wouldn’t be entirely missing out. So in the final week, my car and I set off north, visiting Inverness, John O’ Groats, the far north and west coasts of the Highlands, as well as the Isles of Skye & Mull. Whisky Distillery tours, fabulous food, incredible views, seriously comfy accommodation and exceptional wildlife abounded across my six days and 1,031-mile trip. The photo above was on my final day, as the clouds parted at the perfect moment to capture what much of the trip felt like. I was very lucky with the weather!
Back now in London on the official week off and it is Bristol next for five weeks, my favourite English city to tour to (I don’t count Manchester as I feel biased having been brought up there). With no more rehearsals or auditions on the horizon, everything feels really rather settled on the tour. There’s a real feeling of just enjoying these final few months of the most epic tour I’ve been a part of since my Chitty days.