Sunday morning came way to early, but it brought with it clouds, cooler weather and just a few raindrops. We had to checkout of the hotel before the last event was scheduled to end, but the folks at the theatre graciously let us stash our bags there while LonelyDumptruck went off to explore the town one last time and I went to my final class.The last event was a viewing of some rare items from the archives, things like the original script of Jeeves, caricatures of Sir Alan, the first editions of several scripts and a program from a production in Poland with pictures of Ken and Barbie doing things Matel would never condone. No, we have no idea why.Now, I knew this part of the weekend had been moved out of the theatre because the University has just acquired Sir Alan's archives, every scrap of draft, script, correspondence, you name it, and they didn't want us slopping wine all over the letters between Sir Alan and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber talking about reviving Jeeves, so I thought the viewing and the subsequent Q& A with Sir Alan was going to be at the University.That was a really bad guess. The University of York has the collection and, if I'd paid any attention, I could have figured out York was too far to go. No, the viewing and Q& A turned out to be in the rehearsal room Sir Alan built next to his house.We went to Sir Alan's house!!He was terribly nice. Every question got at least a 10 minute answer, even "How are you feeling, Alan?" He answered that by telling us all about his creative process. I think it says a lot about the group that someone asked that as the first question.One of the items on display for us was the first US edition of Relatively Speaking which was rife with Americanisations like changing the line "I don't really care for this marmalade." to "Marmalade sucks." or, as Sir Alan remembered it "This marmalade is a freak out!" A great deal was made about that and one of the questions was about those changes and how much of a hand he had in it. Simon offered the lady from California the next question, as a rebuttal to all the America bashing, but the guy next to me poached it. I did get the next question, though, and I asked how it compared to working with a translator on an adaption like Dear Uncle. The short answer was that Chevkov was lovely to work with, he didn't complain a bit.We got a group picture with Sir Alan at the end. He talked some about how much he enjoys helping out with/doing the sound design and how he plays all the off stage voices in his productions, so I told him about directing This Is Where We Came In ("Oh! That's a fun one!") and casting my sound designer as Kevin on Keyboards, the robot who does all the sounds for the stories. He thought that was very clever.Part of the University of York acquiring the entire collection means this will be the last Unseen Ayckbourn Weekend. Now anyone can go to the archives and see absolutely everything for themselves. That means Simon will have to come up with a new theme for next year.After I very reluctantly said goodbye to everyone,
LonelyDumptruck and I hopped on the train to go explore York. It was a lovely little town that managed to feel both authentically historic and like a Jolly Olde England theme park. We walked for a while, then stopped at a little pub with a menu like a TGIFridays and the football match on all the TVs (That's not football, that's soccer!) After beer and curries we walked up the city wall to the Richard III museum. I wasn't expecting much, but Richard is my favorite king, so I had to drag
LonelyDumptruck up there. It was pretty much what I expected, cheesy and practically homemade. We walked along the wall to Yorkminster. There was a service going on, so we just walked around the entry and looked at the art there. By then it was nearly 6:00 and they were starting to deploy the tumbleweeds. We missed the Roman Bath museum (but caught the pub), walked through the Shambles, peeped in shop windows and generally wandered around until sunset, then we caught the train into Leeds.It was train, bus and taxi to get to our hotel. I wanted something very near the airport since we had a 7am flight back to Amsterdam, but the train station and the airport are on different sides of Leeds and hotel, though close to the airport, was so close to the middle of nowhere that...well, let me put it this way: we passed a cow on our way there.The hotel was really nice though. It turns out I got a screaming deal. It was part of a fairly fancy chain, the sort that had a lounge in the lobby filled with people obviously there for a convention. It was strange to be around so many people after our little 10 room hotels everywhere else. We got dinner in the lounge and then just went to the room to rest up for our next adventure in Amsterdam.
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