We have set off on our third international tour of the year. This time to Beijing where we will be giving three performances of Romeo & Juliet and two performances of Madame Butterfly in the state of the art National Centre for Performing Arts. As always the Technical Department has gone one day in advance to start the fit up. All went well with the flights and despite the recent bad weather the flights from Manchester to Amsterdam and then onwards to Beijing were close to the scheduled times.
Within 30 minutes of arriving at our hotel a production meeting was called to fine tune the technical requirements for the productions. The 4 containers containing the sets and costumes were sent from Leeds in November and arrived in Beijing a week or so ago for customs formalities but the lighting equipment is being provided locally so it was necessary to re-confirm some of our requirements. This took place in a civilised way, of course, over an excellent Chinese lunch.
The Technicians have the rest of the day and tomorrow off before the containers are unloaded on 31 December at 12.30am, like many major Chinese cities trucks are only allowed to enter the city after midnight and must leave by 5am. The Great Wall calls for many of them! We are monitoring the weather situation in Manchester and hoping that the dancers’ flight will set off on time. There is not much the rest of us can do in Beijing without them!
Mark Skipper Chief Executive