Keeping our nerve…

There has been an awful lot of talking and planning and now we are getting to the point of doing.  We have said over and again that we will do things differently, push the boundaries, test things out, and take risks.  Easy to say, not always easy to do.  It feels like we are at a point where we need to hold onto these aspirations, keep the vision, and hold our nerve.  Examples of this are popping up almost daily now as we go forward and start to put plans in place for next year.  Just one example is with our programme of Live Interpretation, “Croome Encounters”.  We have always said, and have it written large in our project outomes, that we will show visitors the process as well as the product.  So when we needed to find a space and time for our team of aspiring actors to rehearse, why not do this in the Court on an open day.  Our discussions on these things are always guided by: what did we say we would do, and what is worst that can go wrong?  If we don’t try anything we won’t break any new ground.  So…next year you will be able to see all the rehearsals happening in the Long Gallery as part of your visit.  Let’s see what happens?  So it feels like we are starting to live the aspirations of Croome Redefined in many ways, and this is just one example.   (Check out Tom’s Blog for much more on the creative side ). 

Our work to repair the Court continues and I must pay tribute to the effort and detail that everyone is putting into getting things right.  All of the detailed specification is almost complete; every door, every window etc. individually looked at, assessed and specified.  It has been a mammoth task, but only what this great place deserves.  Work on site will start in April next years, and there will be more on how we will share the work with people later.  Can’t wait to see the Sky Café in place!

Meanwhile we continue to remove asbestos from the Court, uncovering more as we go.  One piece of learning will certainly be to include a big contingency when dealing with asbestos removal as the risk and probability of finding more when you start cleaning are very high.  It does feel good however as each area is cleared and cleaned and handed back to us.  You actually hear the building give out a contented sigh of relief!

A Happy Christmas to you all. New Years resolution – update this BLOG more regularly!



  1. Laurence Freeman · January 3, 2014

    Encounters auditions this coming week…will be interesting! Rehearsing in the Court is an idea, but is there not a danger that it might take away the ‘element of surprise’ that is inherent in the concept ie. ‘flash performance’!

    • Richard Higgs · January 6, 2014

      Hi Larry. I understand your point and agree that we do need to create an element of surprise with each preformance, but think the risk of this happening is low as would only be relevant for visitors who happened to come back on a performance day having seen the regearsal . I think the idea of showing the “process” of what we do is so important we should try this out. As with everything, we need to test things, review, and learn from what we do.

  2. Laurence Freeman · January 17, 2014

    The auditions session was great! Challenging for all concerned, the actors, volunteers, us and also those visitors on site that day. It was fascinating to see the various reactions, especially as the actors were not ‘in costume’. As a result, it was probably a much tougher test and it was good to come out the other side with such a positive vibe about the whole exercise!

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