Preparations for a second tour of Angus - Weaver of Grass continue, as Esther begins to fit the itinerary jigsaw together. Roughly a month in Scotland, and a month in England, I believe. Organising the travel so the amount of criss-crossing of countries is kept to a minimum; let alone all the business with ferry time-tables. I'm told that there will be several islands on the schedule again this year - Islay and Muck were mentioned, but as yet I don't know much about the shape of things. Wise to leave it in Esther's capable hands at this point.
The big change, sadly, will be in the cast. Frances Merriman (above, front left) isn't able to tour this year, as her academic commitments as a final year student at Aberystwyth mean she simply isn't able to tour well into October, as we require. Mairi Morrison (front right) too, has had to leave the cast due to other commitments. Both gave amazing performances last year and will be much missed.
So the job of auditioning for replacements is also being planned. It will be a difficult job to replace such special performers, as both Fran and Mairi contributed in very distinctive and special ways. Finding people with the same, or even similar, skills won't be easy, but this isn't the first time we've been faced with the problem of recasting performers, in fact it goes with the territory. I'm optimistic that we'll have a new team in place in May - ready for rehearsals in August.