This afternoon was the last rehearsal with my students before tomorrow’s visit to China. The progress that they have made has been remarkable, because not only are they giving believable performances (in a language which for most of them is not their native tongue), but they are also continuously contributing to the whole process. This means that we now have a piece of theatre that we can take and share with the students in China. Once at Tsinghua University anything could happen, but the students have definitely produced something that they should be extremely proud of, as I know that I am.
As we are catching the morning flight to Beijing (we need to be at Haneda airport for 06:30, groan!), there were a few last minute pieces of admin that needed to be discussed and confirmed. This basically involved me explaining why travel insurance was a necessity (we are only covered by the Tokyo Institute of Technology when engaged in official University business), and distributing a number of items that needed to be taken with us to China; somehow I ended up with the handheld camera and tripod, meaning that I’ll now only be able to pack the one bow tie. Once we had finished with the admin, and were about to depart, I asked if there were any further questions. It was at this point that I was asked ‘What is the play actually about?’ by one of the students, which I think I managed to answer in a succinct fashion, a commendable effort given my own understanding of the piece.