Having finished our stay in “cockroach hotel” (christened thanks to our driver Antonio having found a cockroach in his room), we were more than happy to be departing sooner rather than later. We loaded up ready to head to our next destination: Aiken, SC. We continued our coach journey with surprisingly little air con debate. The journey was made easier by beautiful greenery that could be seen en route, which was a welcome sight after the less tantalising vastness which had been witnessed elsewhere.
On arrival at Aiken we decided to find a place to eat before we continued on to the venue. We found a local grill restaurant and sat in the garden out the back. The aesthetic was beautiful and made for a lovely lunch, with the food matching that of the scenery.
Next stop was the University of South Carolina Aiken (not be confused with our previous venue, USC Beaufort). The venue had its quirks, most interesting of which was the seating in which a middle “v” was created with a singular seat being left in the very front middle, with no one to their right or left. It can only be assumed that such a seat was created for the most important of aristocrats.
The sound check gave everyone an opportunity to iron out any small mistakes they’d been making in order to improve the show even further. After a delicious dinner at the venue, we were all eager and raring to perform. On went our blazers, ironed shirts and polished shoes, before we headed to the stage for our beginners’ call. Will, our sound technician, as has become tradition on this tour, offered some wise words of wisdom through our in-ears before cueing us all in to begin our opening song, ‘Let’s Get It Started’.
The audience was very responsive, being fantastically enthusiastic throughout our set, and wonderfully kind to us when we went to meet them all in the foyer at the end. A particularly touching moment for me was when a group of people said that the show was exactly what they all needed after a difficult week. It’s great to know that our performances are bringing joy and excitement into people’s lives and that they enjoy what we do!
Having finished our gig, we made our way to the post-show reception to meet some of the VIPs in the theatre, including the mayor of Aiken and the Chancellor and Dean of the university, as well as the theatre’s donors. It was a pleasure to talk to many of them over a glass of wine and find out more about Aiken. We were extremely privileged to be performing in such a wonderful venue in front of a brilliant audience.
After leaving the theatre, we checked into the hotel and all retired into our rooms to sleep after an exhausting few days of consecutive shows. Coming up next, we have some time off in Wilmington, NC, before arriving at the Virginia Arts Festival!