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Two Months and Counting

July 28, 2011

A year to the Olympics, and two months to the first Panto Roadshow! Andrew Ryan and I set to the task of embellishing the Pantomime Roadshow scenery this week, giving it a fresh coat of paint and getting it ready for the tour.

The set has to be robust- when we arrive for the show we often have less than twenty five minutes to get it out of the van and up, with props and costumes set, pianos moved and front of house music playing within that time scale! Nathan Daniel will be joining us once again this year as we set off to perform ten shows a week for a month.

This year we play for two weeks of schools in The London Borough Of Redbride for the Kenneth More Theatre, playing up to 3,000 children a week. This will be between September 26th and the 7th October, before heading off for Glasgow and the SECC.

The SECC week will be October 31st and week,followed by the week commencing 7th November for The Alhambra Theatre in Bradford- Andrew’s home town, and where he will be appearing as Dame this year with Billy Pearce and Hilary O’Neil in “Robin Hood”. By the end of the tour we hope to have brought a bit of the magic of pantomime to around 10,000 children!

For now we are putting the finishing touches to the set- seen here drying in the sun outside the scenery store in Ilford, sorting the props and costumes we’ll be using in the show- in addition to the costumes we tour so that some of the staff and children get the chance to dress up as well! Today we were gluing handbills from my collection onto the small side flats we’ve just painted. I got the hanbills as spares from my collection, so I have duplicates, and they were plucked from the filing cabinets at random.

Amazing to discover how many friends as well as associates are up there, glued to the flats for posterity! It seems that every handbill had someone in that we’d worked with, and a few that have been friends for almost thirty years- I looked at those randomly chosen bills and there was Britt, (Ekland) Jan Hunt, Jane Danielle who have been mates for so many years, and others like Sean Needham and Brian Godfrey that I am in touch with on a weekly basis- others like Brian Conley that I catch up with every few months or so-I’m very lucky to work with all these panto folk over the years who have remained in touch. Jane Danielle and Jan Hunt must go back to the first days that Peter and I worked for E&B Productions,  and it seems like yesterday.

I think it was a wave of nostalgia overwhelming me- on the other hand it might have been the glue! After the week-end its back to costuming Ilford’s “Jack and The Beanstalk”- the auditions are soon, and then it will be a very busy August and early September for me and the makers, milliners and beaders!

After the week-end.. now what does that entail? Ah yes! The Nuptuals of none other than IBY’s Simon Curtis! Simon will be getting wed to Chloe on Saturday afternoon in a beautiful part of Suffolk- this is the IBY highlight of 2011 and we wish them both the most amazing day!

Now, what to wear? Simon didn’t specify anything on the invitation.. is it to be the Picnic Table with steaming kettle and checked bloomers? Hmm.. perhaps the unassuming Carmen Miranda sequinned ensemble with the fruit and feathers on the head? Of course, I could always just turn up in a suit? Decisions, decisions!

Simon and Chloe- looking forward to seeing you both on your wonderful wedding day on Saturday! Pob Hwyl!

From → Miscellaneous

One Comment
  1. Terry Powell permalink

    Spray work looks great on the portals and header Nigel!

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