Tour Memories #14 - Glebe Gardens
Tonight's show begins the countdown of our final week in Ireland. It's just as well the venues are as magical as they are for this final week, as it's when you suddenly begin to realise just how few times you have left to perform. No matter what the show is, you know you'll miss it.
Performing at Glebe Gardens is one of the reasons you will miss it quite so much. Glebe's sunken garden, forming a natural amphitheatre looking out across the water, is really quite spectacular, particularly on a warm summer's evening, with a fired-up audience, as the sun begins to set.
Read about some of our cast's favourite memories of Glebe below:
Tomo - Various (Every year, to be honest!)
"The really nice food they put on for us. Dayum!"
Tom M - Unknown
"An odd memory but I’m sure it definitely happened. Mat stamped on a pot of garlic sauce (don’t ask), which was incredibly funny until I looked in the mirror, realising it was on my face. Must have been seven or eight people pointing at me going “it’s on your face!” To which the only suitable reply was “it’s on my face!!” Never looked at little pots of sauce the same way since.
I remember going the bathroom to wipe it off my face, and getting a bemused look off a local. I said to him “it’s garlic sauce” to which he replied “sure,” and walked off. Never saw him again."
Dan M - Unknown (But probably to be repeated in 20 years or so)
"Glebe was where Tomo, Eric and I decided we’d like to retire to. We’re planning on opening our care home there and being fed teacakes and tiffin."
Tomo - Unknown
"Quoting our bygone days of the time we frequented the stage! All I require is a good wine... and a soft arm chair!"
* A photo of what the OTG retirement home may look like in the future is below!
Eleanor M - Zorro
"I managed to completely blank my fight scene with Grace for Zorro at Glebe. I remember giving her a wide-eyed look and just flailing at her with my sword. Thankfully Grace was brilliant and we managed not to stab each other, no thanks to me!"
Grace G - Zorro
"I saw the sparkle turn to questionable eyebrows, as El desperately, with a cheeky smile, eye-signed to me that she had had a blank, at which point I took a few steps back and figure-of-eighted my swords, accompanied by lots of grants, as if it was a mega battle... we both carried on and didn't talk about it til the end...loved it! In-sync sword whisperers!
I think we then had Stew walk ahead of the van as we literally pushed and swashbuckled our way up the path!"
Eleanor M - Various
"Didn't we get the van stuck at Glebe?"
Tomo - Various
"Glebe for me is fast becoming a real tour gem. The last few years has really seen a growing audience in the most beautiful of settings down in the south-west of Ireland. It's not many venues you turn up to that already have a ready-made performance space, down in the bottom of the gardens. Tiered bank-seating, DIY bar, BBQ, residents and holiday makers sitting side by side enjoying something that has been crafted hundreds of miles away in the the north west of England... I always think that's a pretty cool part of the touring job. I will, however, remember the first time we arrived in our extra long wheel based Van. To get our gear down to where we need to be you can either unload at the top and carry it down or you can take on the Glebe 'Top Gear' challenge, and no sooner had stew uttered it from his mouth I had descended down the path of no return, you could hardly see the track for the trees. And as i descended I remember thinking - 'maybe this isn't your brightest move Tomlinson' - fast forward 4.5 hrs, the light gone, darkness surrounds us, the cast head up to the top and I am alone in the cab of the van, with only Stew's torch light (with the power of a million candles) as a little beacon, a marker for a corner that begins the climb. At this point the evening dew had made the grass greasy and a little treacherous. As my rear ate what little was left of my pants I dropped it in to gear and gave it hell... there is a picture that was captured that genuinely looked like the woodland was birthing the van! Fortunately I/we/the van made it to the top with just a few scrapes to explain to Gallagher's van hire back home! But what a rush...did i learn the following year..? 'What's that? they've cut the hedges back a bit.....oh, I'll be fine then!'"
Connor W - Various
"Glebe is one of my absolute favourites. I think I love it because it's what every great night on tour should feel like. The audiences are amazing, it was our biggest seller last year across the whole run, and that really was impressive for the show we were doing. It's a venue that know their audience and clearly care about OTG as a company.
My absolute favourite thing about Glebe though is the amount of youngsters that get involved with the show. Almost every year we have some that show up dressed as their favourite character from the show (before they have even seen it!). Year on year a cast member has to sacrifice their break at the interval (used to be me, now it's Felipe) to make sure no small children hurt themselves as they run wild around our sets, climb on top of the rostra, pick up props and swords. It's truly amazing to see children of that age getting excited about theatre, about the characters in front of them. Every year children who aren't even old enough to have said their first word are capable of picking out the good guys and the bad guys, greeting them with laughter or the sweetest frowns, that's pretty remarkable, and shows what a powerful form of communication/entertainment/whatever theatre is!"
Tomo - Around the World in 80 Days
"We had to move the show up the gardens in to a more compact performance space - I can't quite remember why, maybe the weather, but we couldn't get down to the usual playing area. It was an electric night, where we could see the whites of our audiences eyes we were that close. The show was a ripper, however there were no real 'on' and 'offs' and I remember the joy of many actors having to find their ways in and out, often over a little wall or appearing through a bush!"
Connor W - Around the World in 80 Days
"I remember that! What an odd performance that was! The sunken garden amphitheatre thing we usually perform in had been flooded with the abhorrent rain we'd gotten over the weekend. We moved it up into a very long, narrow, gravelled garden with a raise bit at the end which was, essentially, flowerbeds. The poor flowers got trampled that night. Playing Passepartout and having to negotiate the set changes, acrobatic scenes, and gazillion props, all while trying not to get knocked over by Pete's enormous inflatable globe (not a euphemism) was quite the challenge!"
Tomo - A Midsummer Night's Dream
"I think Glebe was my fave venue for this production. It really was a brilliant show this year, with some stand out performances across the board. But this venue was our busiest we'd had, and it was full of kids and young people. I remember being a bit nervous, wondering if they'd settle in to the bard or just run around as was their right... however, as soon as the opening scene began the entire audience was transfixed, they totally went on our magical dream! They laughed loud and listened so intently that it was a real joy to be a part of. One of my proudest OTG memories I think."
Connor W - Unknown
"I remember the year that Tomo had spent literally ten minutes in the sun and his legs looked like a rhubarb and custard sweet!"