On Tour

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The Independent Culture
The first thing about being on tour is the paranoia that hits you when you arrive in a strange city and have to perform there that evening. For starters, you wonder whether anybody will come. They always do, but the fear never goes away. The other thing, which I realised after touring for more than a year with Very, is how six people can start out enjoying each other's company and end up needing it. We had one terrible incident on that tour, on the day before we opened at the Glasgow Mayfest. Our technical director went out of the hotel at nine o'clock in the morning and found that the van and all the equipment had gone. We called an emergency meeting, but just after lunch the police called to say the equipment had turned up, dumped on waste ground outside Glasgow. The show had 40 lightbulbs - you can imagine what had happened to them when they'd been thrown out of the van. Luckily we got it back together again.

The strangest time was when my company went to former Yugoslavia and everything that could go wrong went wrong. We were only supposed to be there for three days but the plane got diverted by fog and ended up on the wrong side of the country. When the venue finally found us they sent a minibus which drove us overnight across the mountains, with this driver who kept himself going by drinking spritzers. We arrived in a wasteland of snow at dawn to perform in a synagogue which had just been opened for the first time since 1942. The theatre company had built a floor over the pews. They didn't pay us until we were driving to the airport on the way back so we were lumbered with all this useless currency.

Jonathan Burrows's Group performs 'Our' 8pm tonight to 7 May, the Place Theatre, Duke's Rd, London WC1 (071-387 0031)

(Photograph omitted)

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