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This is going to be a rather celebratory post, I warn you.

Because, you see, the Summer Season is over.

Last night we brought it to a rather triumphant close with Duccio’s very fine Liaisons Dangereuses. He and his readers did lovely work on a combination of parts of the novels and Christopher Hampton’s play. It was just the four of them, all dressed in black, some baroque music, the neoclassical exedra bathed in golden light… enormously effective – and much applauded.

After which we repaired to the town garden of one of our numbers, and had a late dinner, and commented on just how happy we are with what we’ve done, and just how sad that it’s over already.

Because for all the limitations, restrictions, and intricacies of the Covid era, this little season of not-even-quite-staged readings – ranging from Red Riding Hood to Shakespeare, from Sepulveda to Chorderlos de Laclos – has indeed been its own kind of joy.

Just being there, night after night, watching the audience fill up to (not very great) capacity, feeling the thrill of anticipation, making theatre… And yes – the audience responded very well, with much warmth and applause. Throughout the month, we were almost constantly sold out, and submerged with requests for more seats… And you might object that it wasn’t all that hard, with the Measures restricting us to 70 seats per night – but it’s nothing that we could take for granted. There is still a good deal of unease, after all, and we were doing something so very different from our usual, and there were so many rules to follow…

So yes: we count it as a resounding success, and more proof that nothing – but nothing stops the Company.

And now…

Well, now we are hard at work for the Winter Season, of course. We are not dreadfully certain of what we’ll be allowed to do, yet. In this new world, things and rules have this nasty habit of changing at the drop of a hat. We don’t know just how many seats we can sell each night, we don’t know quite what we can or cannot do onstage and backstage…

So we work on Covid-safe shows, with few actors and simplified staging, and we wait. Wait and see and do our best, seems to have become the rule we all live and work. Personally, I’ve got a new commission – a small one-act thing to be delivered by mid-September – and I’ll also work in it as an assistant to Nina.  I’m very happy with it all.

We’re back in earnest, see? Or in fact, it’s not even quite that. After all, it would seem that we’ve never been away. Not truly. And pleasing to Thalia and Melpomene, the curtain will open in October.

Meanwhile, we take our bow.