An insider’s guide to Tour 2015: Canterbury

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The mist descended on us as we unpacked our trucks at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, on the morning of Monday 2 November. With the spire of the cathedral just visible through the fog, our ‘get in’ felt suitably eerie. Yet by lunchtime the haze had lifted, and we were greeted by beautiful sunshine illuminating the cobbled streets of the city centre.

The ‘get in’

The ‘get in’ is a term used by touring theatres, and involves moving all the props, scenery, wigs, costumes, lights, etc. from the trucks and into the theatre. The logistics required to unload the Tour cargo are extraordinary, as each department and piece of scenery finds its place.


The wardrobe department settle into their new environment, finding space for the 159 costumes we take on tour.

Since there was no performance to manage on Monday evening, a few of us from the Glyndebourne team attended evensong at the cathedral. Sitting in a beautiful setting surrounded by the aroma of incense and listening to the cathedral choir as they sang Faure’s Requiem was the perfect way to settle in to a musical week in Canterbury.

On Tuesday the orchestra, chorus and principal singers started to trickle through the theatre, depositing their bags in their dressing rooms, finding the coffee and biscuits, and becoming acquainted with all of the stage entrances and exits in preparation for the first performance of Don Pasquale.

Thank you, Canterbury

One of my favourite aspects of touring is being able to explore the towns we visit. Each week we have new restaurants to try, historical landmarks to explore, and cafes to get our coffee fix. Canterbury has certainly done an excellent job of accommodating Glyndebourne, and we are very grateful.

Next stop: Milton Keynes on 8 November!