I'm on a coach with 35 members of the combined casts of the two productions of Brass. We're going to France to stand where the Pals went over the top at the exact time in the morning they went over. 100 years on. The young people are behaving themselves very well. They're mostly singing songs from the '70s and sharing food. We have a Welsh flag flying at the back of the bus on account of the Welsh football team's triumph. We're joined on the trip by Tina, Nathan and Abbie, and the wonderful Carole Smithies who is the world expert on the Barnbow munitions factory in Leeds, which features so prominently in Brass.
The coach left Leeds at 3.30pm today and drove down to London via Watford Gap, picking up people en route. The cast seemed thrilled to see each other again and the lovely thing about the show is that it doesn't divide people into cliques. It's very much an ensemble piece. The cast of Brass wander around in a huge amorphous blob. I have always said that I want everyone who does my show not to see it as a show but as an era. Years of student drama and orchestral tours has taught me how important this is. These people will know each other for the rest of their lives and I feel very honoured to have brought them all together.
This trip promises to be very special indeed. Fingers crossed for the weather. And that the French don't hate us as much as we hate ourselves.