In Melbourne with Lipsynch Part 1

Wednesday 1 August 2012:
Strange to come from summer (despite Britain's poor showing of it) to Australian winter in Melbourne. Blue skies, but sharp cold and bare trees in the well-appointed city parks.

The stage management team here has had to contend with the late arrival through customs of the two giant containers with set and costumes. But they have caught up with themselves in Olympic fashion before our arrival to do two days run-through before the first show on Saturday. Eat your heart out James Magnussen (Oz swimmer extraordinaire). We watch the Olympics live at midnight here, 10 hours in front of you.

A little synchronicity on reading The Age - the Oz daily paper - covering the Melbourne International Film Festival. The opening film is The Sapphires: a 60s story of four indigenous women who form a singing group and find their way to Vietnam performing for the troops. It is written by Tony Briggs, who based his story on his mother's experience. For us in the world of Lipsynch, Tony Briggs is the name of our villainous central figure and much of the film episode involves Jeremy directing a film based on his mother's life.

Thursday - first rehearsal:
Cast and crew all arrive with different levels of jetlag whether coming from NY, Quebec via San Francisco or from Europe, though some have opted to holiday in advance in Cairns in Queensland. This will have an affect. Much of rehearsal will be remembering who put on what coat when, since we haven't done the show for 14 months. Was Ada on the phone in that scene or not? And recovering some of the small changes we made in the last show is challenging. Warm welcome from the Ozzie staff here in the Arts Centre Melbourne: a vast multi-theatre building with warren-like corridors which reminds me of the Barbican or the National in London. In the bowels of the building I hear it is Earth Day today, and the theatre announces it will shut off all non essential lights in consideration of energy consciousness. (India's massive black-out yesterday was a day too early!) The theatre boasts an Eiffel tower-esque sculpture on its roof, here on what is Melbourne's bustling Southbank, across the river from the Victorian (!) city centre.