“The biggest change is that the whole thing is about ten minutes shorter than it was at the start of the tour”, comments Abigail Anderson, its director. “The last time we were in Bury, it was the opening week and the cast were still getting to grips with the number of cues in the show, not just for the acting, but also the movement and the music … But now they don’t have to think so much about the next line or where their instruments are, and the whole thing is a lot tighter.”
“We’re all so much more comfortable with it now, we can have fun with it.” adds Loren O’Dair, who portrays Turpin’s legendary mare Black Bess. The camaraderie that has built up between the cast of five throughout the tour has really made a difference to the experience: “Because no-one ever leaves the stage during the show, we’re always looking out for each other and supporting each other.”
“The reaction to the show at every venue has been hugely positive.” Anderson confirms. “No matter the size of the audience, there’s always been whoops and cheering from the audience. That doesn’t happen for just any production. Everyone who’s seen the show has loved it”. The gruelling schedule has been tempered with some much-needed relaxation however, particularly in Wakefield. The performances at Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre were another high point.