A reflection on touring The Wonderful World of Hugh Hughes

Me, Hugh Hughes, at the Barbican stage door

Hugh Hughes: Me in the Barbican stage door

Being away from home touring is not like being at home. Touring is another lifestyle. It fits into a suitcase. It introduces endless new faces. It is full of coffee shops and long conversation. It is busy and demanding. It is stimulating and exciting. It is full of new streets, new corners of new places. It leaves a whole world floating when it is over.

As I sit here now, looking back on the last six weeks, I see Silk Street in London run into Princes Street in Edinburgh and Julian Fox’s face smiling and saying, “Today will not be like any other”.

The lights go up on the green tea, a tight spotlight on a seemingly insignificant moment. Dafydd leans over Dublin, stretching for Scottish sugar and shouting about a little restaurant he’s found in Hackney. The guitar plays the opening chords of a well-rehearsed tune as the Thames pulls everything downstream. Curtains are raised upstairs on another Mackintosh jewel as the actors crowd the lift.

Endless backstage corridors lead to real life transport issues on the London Underground as the truck hits the Irish Sea. Ladders reach for the rig. Lanterns are checked and patched. Boards programmed to run the undisturbed cues of a dry run as the pure mechanics of it all expose the artifice. A quick photograph. Grabbing at a moment before it flies away.

Chatter and laughter are the currents of today’s energy as we work together to fix the showerhead, long dead and forgotten, overlooked and discarded. The beauty of reviving such a useful distributor of water is alarming.

Surely it can not be this simple we think as we wonder what else there is to fix.

The next time I go on tour will be when I take 360 to Northern Stage in Newcastle, which will be from 3rd to 6th November. Details can be found here.

Projects: Wonderful World of Hugh Hughes.

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