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When Cheek by Jowl arrived in Tokyo with Measure for Measure (with Adam Kotz as Angelo and Anastasia Hiller as Isabella, below), Shakespeare's play about corruption in high places, they discovered that they were billed as performing Major for Major.

'Maybe it was a freudian slip,' observes Barbara Matthews, their administrative director since the word go. 'With six months on tour - Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Australia, Japan and Spain, it's a brilliant gig for an actor.'

International touring can be a nightmare. 'A camel nearly joined the company once. They were coming back from Tokyo for six days before flying out to Brazil, and they needed visas. But Declan Donnellan was in Tunisia and was only going to be back for one day: Easter Sunday. What's more, he was in the desert. The only way to get his passport stamped was to put it on the back of a camel. At the very last moment, we discovered he had a duplicate in London, so we unmade all the emergency arrangements.

There are, of course, happier tales. 'While we were in Buenos Aires, it was Marianne Jean-Baptiste's birthday. She wanted to go to a tango bar and nearly everyone turned up. After a lot of arm-twisting, they let her sing. Nobody shared a language but we ended up having a three-hour jam session. That's what touring's all about.'

(Photograph omitted)

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