Just over twenty-four hours till liftoff: lots to do, but we feel as though we're on top of it. We must call the airline today for our seat assignments (we could have reserved them earlier, but at a steep surcharge); pack my costume and the show props-- furniture we will scrounge as best we can, and the portrait of Elizabeth, which Michael had transferred to vinyl, was rolled up and mailed a week ago. Arrangements to be made for looking after the cats-- Perdita, Arthur and Alice will be well cared for by our neighbor up the hill, Anita. Getting as much cash as possible into our checking accounts, so we can use our debit cards in Scotland. Trying to pack clothes for the unpredictable UK weather, though considerable rain is a pretty safe bet. We've secured UK mobile phones and a voltage converter and plugs for maintaining power on our various electronic devices-- traveling is so much more complicated than twenty years ago! But I don't think I could survive without my laptop and Kindle!

There's hardly time in all this to think much about the actual show, though i've met twice with Michael and Jeffra in the last two weeks to finalize the cuts that will bring the show down to 75 minutes, the maximum stipulated by our venue (and by now, on all the promotional material). That means leaving out some material that's dear to my heart, notably the gloriously creepy "Porphyria's Lover," and trimming the letters a little more. This is a process that has gone on for several iterations of the show-- the first time I performed it, it ran close to two and a half hours including the intermission-- but it must be done, though I will particularly miss some of Elizabeth's wit and passion in the letters we've had to trim. On the plus side, the show should be tight and consistently hold the audience's interest.

I guess we are as well prepared as we're likely to be, though my anxiety level is a little high. Four weeks is a long time to break with the routine of our daily lives, and a lot of improvisation will be required once we arrive. But we believe in the show, and we're confident audiences will be enthusiastic, though they might be small at first. 

Next post, probably Wednesday. FROM SCOTLAND!