We’re about to go into rehearsals for Guide Gods at the Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock – before heading down under with the show to the Perth International Arts Festival. I’m packing for both places – shorts, sun cream, fleeces, sou’wester.
It’s a major operation to take a show abroad which calls for much planning and ingenuity. I remember when Talking Birds took a show to Seattle, the set had to be redesigned to fit into a suitcase. For a festival in Slovakia the set & props all had to be sourced locally – including a bath. We knew they were going the extra mile when the query came back as to whether it needed running water (it didn’t).
Our technical rider to Perth included: 1 pedal harmonium (missionary or similar). I sent out a picture (pictured right) of the (somewhat battered) Pearl River missionary harmonium which is used in the show. Little more that a week later word came back from Western Australia that they’d tracked one down in a Wesley Church (thanks to an organist named Dominic) – which was identical apart from being in somewhat better condition than mine (pictured left). I was seriously impressed and am looking forward to playing it.
The audience for Guide Gods is very close in on the show – their voices literally become woven into the soundtrack at one point, and they are invited to stay for tea at the end. They might not necessarily get the joke about Aberdeen, but I think the good people of Perth, WA are going to like it!