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11 January

Page history last edited by PBworks 17 years, 12 months ago

Wednesday 11 January

Khao Lak Day One


Clever kids


Parachute games at Ban Lamkenk School





First day of the Khao Lak leg of the Tour. San collects us, as arranged, at 8.30 am in the van, and we drive to Baan Lamkenk School. Quick parachute games for 60 children, while everything is set up for the show, then workshops (juggling from Haggis, diabolo, plate-spinning, ribbon-twirling and hoola-hooping from Jo and Jake, and badge-making from me) for these 60 students, followed by the first show for half the school - an audience of just over 250. The pupils they give us for the workshops here are a bit older than usual, and we get some very co-ordinated kids who really pick up the juggling very fast, as well as some who master the diabolo really well. These students start the show, along with some ribbon-twirlers and a fantastically outgoing boy who whirls a hoola-hoop round his waist, while spinning 2 plates at the same time - a great success - and then it's on with our show, which goes really well.


Technophobe in charge


It's my first show doing the sound desk on my own (our wonderfully practical 17-year-old daughter, Jess, not being here with us any longer, having had to return to college in England). For those of you reading this who know me, you will be aware that I am the least machine-capable person in the world - I could almost be described as a technophobe! But there is no choice - there is no one else available to do the sound. I spent a lot of time with Jess her last few days watching how she did it, and I have gone through the play list again and again, and I have pestered the performers about the cues for each new music track - and hey, it goes pretty well - no major mistakes - halleluljah!. The cd player has a 5-second gap on some tracks, before the music starts to play, which is a pain, and I can't just press the button early for fear that one of the performers is going to suddenly do a bit of ad-libbing. But it was OK! I feel deeply relieved to have got my first sound show under my belt, and hope I will feel less nervous about it soon.


Transport - the songtheuw


The school give us a nice fried rice lunch and then Somchai arrives for a meeting with me and Haggis and Mr. Wee, the new songtheuw driver, who is going to transport us now that there are budget/sponsorship problems, rather than San in the lovely van. We inspect the songtheuw and reckon it will do fine for the Khao Lak leg of the Tour as none of the distances we are going to have to travel are too long. The songtheuw is like a small van with the driver and one seat and a child seat in the front, and then an open-sided back with 2 benches. Nothing like as comfortable, obviously, as San's air-con, padded seat van, but we should be OK I reckon. There is a roof rack, and we ask Mr. Wee to go out and buy a tarpaulin and some rope so that we can keep all the equipment covered and safe in case it rains. One of the joys of San's van was that we could leave a lot of the show and workshop equipment in the van each night - now we will have to load fully each morning and unload fully each evening, which is a bit of a pain as some of our equipment (especially the PA system and speakers and badge suitcase) is very heavy. Hopefully our guesthouse will look kindly upon us and will allow us to store all this stuff in their lock-up room, as there is certainly no room for it in our bedrooms! This new transport will only cost about £10 a day, a considerable saving, which Linda has said she will manage to pay, thank goodness - so I am sure we will make do somehow.


Keep the costumes decent!


It's 1.00 and time for the afternoon workshops to start, but Jo has gone off with San to find a tailor as her "Daisy" dress and "Geoffrey"/Jake's (now clear that Jake spells Geoffrey with a G not a J!) trousers need urgent machining if they are not to become indecent during the show - she has obviously had difficulty finding a tailor, and hasn't arrived back yet, and Haggis and I still have to go through the next week of schools venues with Somchai, as we are not going to see him again for several days. The children arrive for their workshops, so Jake has to run the first 25 minutes of workshops with 60 children on his own - which he does very well - scuttling between plate-spinners, ribbon-twirlers and jugglers - a noble effort, above and beyond the call of duty, if a little unnerving!


On the road again


Jo returns and our meeting with Somchai eventually finishes and we complete the workshops for the second 60 children (I now know that it is JUST possible to complete 60 badges in 30 minutes!) and then run the show for the second 250 students. Great success! Nice to be on the road again. The children really loved the workshops and shows and were amazed and touched that we had come from so far away to work with them.


Empty beach


Sad and fond farewells to San and the Van - San really has been great, and we will miss him a lot - but Mr. Wee is lovely too, and I am sure we will become very fond of him - he seems very keen to help in every way.


Travel will now be far slower and far more uncomfortable (and my hair is going to need a gallon of conditioner as it blows wildly in the wind in the back of the songtheuw and is getting very tangled!) But at least we HAVE some transport - unfortunately we do NOT HAVE a translator. The only 3 things I asked for and was absolutely promised for this Tour was transport (which is now very slow and pretty uncomfortable, but at least it's there), for a full timetable of gigs to be set up in the most needy places (I am not convinced they have all been in the most needy places, really, and some days have been left empty because our fixers here didn't seem to know the dates of the school holidays - let's hope the rest of the dates are properly filled!) and a translator - today was the last time we are seeing Somchai for some while - life is going to be pretty hard without a translater, and I must admit I do feel let down. Oh for Steve Groh! But he is working with Cirque du Soleil in Bangkok. Never mind, onwards and upwards - we will just have to do the best we can without a translator.


Back to Krathom Bungalows - luckily the owners understand our problems, and are very kindly prepared to put all our show and workshop equipment in their lock-up room each night, bless them. We unload and then go down for a quick swim on the rather sad and empty beach. There is a tree that people use to stick photos of dead loved ones on, and lots of flowers and shells and notes. Very sad!


Do a lot of emailing in the evening till about 11 pm and miss dinner. Very tired, so sleep quite well, despite the hardness of the mattress.




12 January

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