Great Game

Standing Ovation For First Trilogy Day

Monday, September 20th, 2010 by Great Game

Nicolas Kent updates us on the tour’s first week in Washington…

Shakespeare Theatre, Washington

Shakespeare Theatre, Washington

After three fifteen-hour days and the adrenalin of the previews on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, it was a huge relief getting to the first full trilogy day on Saturday.

A beautiful sunny Washington day and at 11am we are all at the theatre for the half. The houses for all three parts are packed – the auditorium holds 800. At lunch the audience seems to have been totally engaged; some of them come up to the cast and say how much they are enjoying it. The cast are buzzing and by 10pm we get to a curtain call and a standing ovation. Then off to dinner with the British Ambassador – he and his wife are hugely complimentary. Staying with him is Michael Cashman M.E.P. who came with a friend to see Part 2 and got so involved he has stayed on for Part 3. Back to the hotel where the cast are winding down with drinks (and some have even been off to a couple of clubs). We all go off to bed at about 1am knowing that tomorrow is another (trilogy) day!

Wake up this morning to a phone call from Matt Frei (BBC Washington correspondent) saying he has heard great things and can I get him a ticket. Then on my way into the theatre I get an email from Masood Khalili from Ankara where he is Afghan Ambassador saying he has heard great things about the plays and congratulations. Also hear from Christina Lamb (Sunday Times Washington Correspondent) that she is interviewing NATO spokesman Mark Sedwell and do I want her to ask some questions to be included in the verbatim passages for the plays? We are having to change one of the pieces because of the Afghan elections this weekend which now makes one of the pieces out of date. More lines for an actor to learn but luckily we don’t do Part 1 again after today until Wednesday.

I am now heading into the theatre for an afternoon of seminars and discussions running in parallel with the plays (and simultaneously) with Afghan journalists, academics, politicians etc all sponsored and brought together by the British Council. Meanwhile it’s hot and sunny but I know I shouldn’t mention that for British readers!