You may be forgiven for thinking that the summer never arrived at all, but now that August 31 - the last official day of summer, according to meteorologists — has come and gone, at least we can stop hoping for a better one to finally materialise now. In 2007 the papers shouted headlines that trumpeted the “worst summer in living memory”, and this year things have been little better: as The Times reported on Saturday, “Official figures show British summer was dull and wet (as if we didn’t know)”. Though the full month’s statistics were yet to be analysed, the story pointed out that “Met Office statistics show rainfall this summer is already up to 50 per cent higher than normal and August is on course to have the fewest hours of sunshine since records began.”
But this isn’t, of course, a weather blog but a theatre one - except when you’re in Edinburgh and can’t avoid getting regular soakings, as I discovered the moment I arrived there in August and five of the wettest days I’ve ever spent there followed, or are heading to the Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park, as I blogged here when I was heading to the opening night of GIgi. At least I had to only worry for a single night, and it all turned out all right on that night; I can only imagine how Timothy Sheader must be feeling to wake up to days like this morning’s downpours, when Gigi still has a fortnight to run.
But if it’s time to officially write off the summer, in every sense, September always sees the official start of the new theatre season, on both sides of the Atlantic.