Beers, bridges and NESSIE

Hola again from Kay and Josh! (Joshua Davies and Kay Nicholson – Music, Theatre and Entertainment Management students at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts).

Fresh from a 4-hour coach journey from the beautiful Inverness to busy Edinburgh. We are two students lucky enough to be on tour with Heather Knight and Dance Consortium for two weeks as they take Danza Contemporanea de Cuba around the UK.

Having never been to Scotland before, we were extremely excited to be in Inverness, and rightly so, as it is such a beautiful town. Our hotel and the theatre were separated by the River Ness, which made for a lovely daily walk over a little (albeit wobbily) Bridge. The Eden Court Theatre really is one of a kind. With a modern, contemporary exterior, the theatre is instantly inviting. You can see straight into to the restaurant area, which adds to the originality of the theatre!

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The interior is just as impressive, not only has it got 2 theatre spaces, it also has 2 cinema spaces, 2 dance and drama studios and 3 floors of dressing rooms.

The first thing we did when we got to venue was give the front of house staff the sign in sheets and the running times. Our duties consisted of making sure there was always enough water for the dancers backstage, updating social media platforms, preparing beer for the get out crew (a theatre tradition) and live tweeting the Q&A after the show. Most importantly, Josh and I were put in charge of dealing with programmes. We gave the front of house manager the programmes, and collected them at the end. We were lucky enough to see the show in Inverness as well. The magical thing about a tour is that every venue makes the show different. The stage is different, the setup is different and the audience are different. This means it is like a totally different show, but just as brilliant as the last time.

After the Q&A we had drinks in the bar area of the theatre. The venue’s wonderful manager Colin had arranged a live band, which meant one thing; more dancing! Even though the dancers had danced solidly for 2 hours, the minute the band started they were off! The atmosphere was brilliant, a lot of the audience that attended the Q&A stayed behind and a few of them even had a few dance lessons! Everyone was up enjoying themselves, and everyone left with a smile on their face, which is exactly what you want after a show!

The next day we had a free day and Heather had organised a coach trip to Loch Ness to look for The Monster. Sadly, Heather was too busy to come on the tour, so left us and Laura to be in charge (eep!). We set off on time (good start) and the team were in good spirits, everyone was singing on the coach and ready to go and search for the famous Nessie! We stopped off to take some pictures and have a look at the true beauty of Loch Ness, and it truly was remarkable.

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The difficulty came in getting everyone back on the coach in time. We suddenly have a lot more sympathy for our old teachers who took us on school trips! Eventually, (after being hunted down) everyone made it back onto the coach and we made it home! Sadly, we never saw the Loch Ness Monster, but we found a pub which seemed to impress the crew & dancers a lot more! (£5 for a pint though, scandalous).

The only downside to Inverness, was that we weren’t there for longer. The venue was beautiful, the city was beautiful and the breakfasts in the hotel – they will hold a special place in our hearts for ever!

We are learning so much on this tour, it is remarkable seeing how a real tour works, and even more remarkable getting involved. Who would have thought we would have been left in charge of 33 Cuban dancers & crew and didn’t lose a single one?!

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Now it’s time to experience Edinburgh and all it has to offer! Wish us luck!

Kay & Josh xxxx

The Danza Contemporanea de Cuba dancers and Artistic Director Miguel Inglesias (left) posing in Inverness!

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