Here are the final notes on readiness to travel to France with our production. Last updated April 26
Passports. Just saying. And UK Global Health Insurance Health card (replaces E111, obtain from the Post Office or NHS on line), travel insurance (obtain from an insurance broker for this rather than at a travel agent). The rule is your passport must have at least 3 months left when you enter the country (corresponds to the 90 stay limit without a visa).
Collect up off your costumes and personal props (a phone, earpiece, note books etc) and place in own bag. You will want to wash costume tops etc, so put them back in. You may also may want to add a change for the after-show party event.
Two night stay, probably larger than overnight bag will be needed. They will need to ride in the train carriage, and we will have shared out props and costumes. Two bags up to 85cm and one small personal bag is permitted in our rail class. Crew will take props, actors take their costumes. Major props such as the throne supplied by Les Baldins.
Gift for hosts. Suggestions are local (Marlow, Windsor) items or famous location souvenirs, such as English biscuits, teas, chocolates, Scotch whisky, Rebellion beer (which is always popular when they come to us) etc. Maybe not the local wine (although having said that what about Hope and Anchor sparkling from the Rebellion shop). Andrew can obtain Royal `Collection items at a discount. If you are bringing in drinks as a gift, 4 bottles / cans of beer or 1 bottle of wine per person is the limit for Eurostar.
Summary of what you can carry on the Eurostar here. Luggage restrictions are good (two bags and hand luggage), but you must be able to carry it yourself, which can be a problem in some situations as we are going on another train etc.
Money: Euro in the local currency and we may need something for a lunch en-route. All main meals are catered for us, so you need very little money.
- BRIAN will be received at Sezny Flandrin.
- ANDY and AJEET at François Jollivet.
- JULIA, JENNIFER and BECCA at the Pougnets.
- ALISON and LAURA at Erwan Le Bourva.
- GLORIA and HILARY at the Aupépins.
- ANDREW at the Fogelgesangs.
Timetable of events
- Sort out in Studio of costumes and props. You may be asked to assist please for 30 mins or so to make sure we have everything (checklist).
Friday: a later start from previous years (hooray!)
- Travel from Marlow/ Maidenhead/Henley/ Slough making your own way. Recent news is that we will be in the midst of rail strikes again, so best advice is use the Elizabeth Line from Maidenhead 10.30am departure which hopefully will be running, direct to Farringdon (its slow but reliable – NB no toilet on this train). At Farringdon change from Elizabeth Line to Kings Cross/St Pancras (Circle, Hammersmith lines north bound direction). Probably arrive approx 11.40 am depending on the train you select. Andrew is organising a taxi cab direct to St Pancras. Meet 10.00 at 8 Pound Lane.
- Meet at 12.00 pm at St Pancras station meeting place. Use WhatsApp to locate if needed. There is one ticket for the group, Brian has that. So we need to move together and ensure we have everyone. Tickets entry via e-gates, Passport (two checks: UK exit and France entry) and then baggage check. Retire to what is reputed to be the Europe’s longest Champagne Bar or shopping on site. Train departs 2.30pm
- You may want to bring some snacks or packed late lunch for the journey. It’s a long day. There are snacks available in the Eurostar buffet. You may bring one bottle of wine for your self on the train.
- Line rehearsal in the carriage as we travel if possible.
- Arrive Gard-Du-Nord 5.47pm. Note the train ride is actual only 2 hours or so, but of course we have a time change. Met by Les Baladins, Sezny Flandrin and travel overground rail to Marly. We each need to purchase and validate a ticket for this (validation is on a ticket franking post on the platform) – group tickets are not available.
- 7.15pm approx arrive Marly, meet up with hosts
- Travel with allocated hosts with your bag to freshen up.
- All meet for group dinner around 8.00pm- 8.30pm in Versailles. Usually held in a modest restaurant. Plenty of food.
Saturday: Big day.
- Easy free morning. Maybe a visit into town etc.
- 1.30 pm The Cultural Center car park is reserved for the production so we can be dropped off with personal props and costumes. Everyone needs to do this so all the ‘parts’ are assembled and allow time for crew sorting out. Once an audit has been completed (checklist) most cast can disperse until later (see below).
- The director of the Cultural Center asks for any useful clarification on the “pyrotechnic or lighting effects”. Les Baladins will bring over requested staging and large props (throne, table and chairs, mobility scooter etc). Pierre Garrel from the Les Baladins will be assisting our technical set up.
- Opening of the room, installation of the sets, layout of costumes and props. Director and Crew needed. Cast not needed have the early afternoon with hosts (nice!). No drinking at all please please until after the show. That includes anything at lunch time.
- 3.30 pm Everyone needed back please. 4.00pm A run through to test entrances, exists etc.
- 6:00 pm: break for the snack for crew and cast – Les Baladins will bring over a picnic. Technicians break is 6.00-7.00 pm
- 7:30 pm: opening of the room to the public
- 8.00 pm: beginning of the performance
- 10.00pm: end of the performance. Expect repeated curtain calls. Break the set, re-pack the costumes and props back with hosts so we can place in own bags for the way back. Tidy up theatre.
- 10.45 pm Travel to after show party with your host (another party?) to village hall.
- 2.00 am Back home with host to crash out
Sunday: a restful day
- An easy morning with host. Maybe go to the market at Marly or visit Saint Germain-En-Laye (it’s very good) or a Sunday walk in the Marly park. Or go over lines once more if you feel the need.
- Lunch with host. Sometimes these are usually arranged in small groups rather than with host only. So we may meet up at a lunch party.
- 3.00pm at Marly station. This is the tricky bit – leave lunch on time for departure on time. Late comers will have to find own way home as we have to stick to our Eurostar bookings for everyone else. Please be aware of the risk.
- 18.13 Eurostar departs, snack, bar
- 19.30 arrive St Pancras. Make own way home. Probably back in Marlow/Maidenhead around 9.00pm- 9.30pm
- 8.00pm Tuesday re-meet at studio to drop off costumes and props carried back. Thanks
- Back to the studio 8.00pm to drop off costumes and props that we travelled with. Crew will try and re-file these.
Who is travelling
We have 7 cast, 4 crew/ back stage = 11 in all. Jen is traveling on her own ticket.
- Julia Ashton
- Brian Couling
- Rebecca Jenkins
- Ajeet Saggu
- Andrew Scott
- Andrew Stafford
- Alison Edwards
- Gloria Hurst
- Hilary Cox
- Laura Goodband
- Jennifer Major
- Outbound Departure 14:31 local time Coach 11 Seat 75
- Inbound Departure 18:13 local time Coach 5 Seat 85
Marly is 12 miles west of Paris and close to Versailles. The town came to prominence when Louis XIV built a Chateau there. In the 19th Century Marly was home to Impressionist painters, notably Sisley and writers like Alexandre Dumas. Present day Marly retains its “character” in the old town but also has some splendid modern buildings. There is a good Sunday market where you are likely to bump into other Marlow Players, if they have managed to surface after the party after your performance! If you are the slightest bit interested – the population is a little larger than Marlow’s.
More details of Marly