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Bernard Davies

Bernard’s Call Sheet for the Lost Season: Week 6

Bernard Davies issues a weekly schedule on Thursday for the following week. 

We’re keeping you up to date with what SHOULD have been happening. 


Next week this report will include a Zoom with the creative teams. 


Helen likes to be a few days ahead of schedule in case the weather turns and her team are constantly painting and cleaning. Restaurant crockery, glass etc is moved from the theatre to the house; hired equipment arrives (ice house, generators, restaurant chairs); Dave Kearney sets up his two kitchens (one in the house and one in the orchard). The White Wisteria champagne bar is set up; picnic chairs and tables are moved into the marquees. The Walnut Tree Restaurant is complete and Alexander Creswells’ massive gauzes of his watercolours are hung. Waiters and waitresses begin their induction and training; garden lights installed. 


Week 6 w/c May 25


La Gioconda moves to the theatre for a very big week. Like the first day of Meet Me in St Louis the entire process is repeated for the arrival of the La Gioconda Company – the tour of the gardens, same amazement during the tour; the madness in the theatre as 55 people find their way around the place. They are given the all important Health and Safety talk. They will have 3 days onstage with only a piano in the pit, and then at the end of the week the orchestra joins in. The ENO Orchestra have been with us for 3 years so they soon settle into their own routine on arrival. At this point the opera house is at its fullest capacity – approximately 150 artistes, technicians, administration and orchestra. The first night of the Season looms for all. 

The wardrobe department has a making area (behind the orchestra pit) and an upstairs room where fittings take place.


Main Hall While it is all go at the theatre with La Gioconda hitting stage, La Bohème continues to rehearse and has moved to the larger rehearsal room: the Main Hall. On many days the chorus are in Surrey with La Gioconda and La Bohème focusing on principals.   

Watford Colosseum John Rigby meets the BBCCO for the first orchestral readings of Meet Me in St Louis and in the middle of the week the cast joins in to sing with the orchestra for the first time (sitzproben). Only 10 days away from the first night.