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Monday7th Dec: Venue Cymru

December 9, 2015


The view from Venue Cymru

The weather in the North west has been appalling- Saturday and Sunday brought gales and flooding. We had warning that roads around Venue Cymru were blocked off as Curry’s roof was peeling off! Fortunately by the time I arrived on the train from Euston the sea was like a millpond and all was calm.
Delighted to walk along the promenade on Monday morning, a few minutes from the hotel. Glorious weather, and we are rehearsing in one of the rooms at the theatre- this must be one of the greatest view from a rehearsal room in the country!

We rehearsed in the children from the Pearl Shaw school of dance. There were 14 children playing the Dwarfs, and sixteen children as villagers: Two teams of each, a total of 44 Juveniles and many chaperones!

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Each scene was run through twice for each team, and we went through the scenes involving children until dinnertime.
John Evans had some great news during the rehearsal at around 2pm. He is now officially a Grandad! A little boy weighing just over 9lb has joined this world, and will be sitting in a front row in a few years watching his Grandad on the Panto Stage! Congratulations!


I was lucky not to be called until 1pm, so used the time to put the costumes and wigs into the Quick Change room on stage left. The lads and lasses here at VC have done a great job, it is the biggest yet, and there is enough room to swing several felines!
So, quick change room (Palace!) sorted and had time to run through the costume changes with Irene who will be helping me with the fifteen or sixteen changes- a personal record- hopefully a one off!
Evening, because the crew here at VC were ahead of the game, we were able to move on stage and Michael was able to tech some of the effects, and Arthur was able to space the ensemble numbers on the set. Impressive set too- I’ve not worked with this one before, but it is very grand and I find myself in awe of the bits of the castle that light up. Big kid still I guess


Arthur & Michael

By 10pm pretty tired but we did a lot. Broken (that is a stage term, not a literal term!) until tomorrow at 10am to begin the full dress technical rehearsal. Night all!
Tuesday 8th December
Again, a lovely stroll to work along the seafront. That is the last bit of daylight I will be seeing today!
Irene had sorted out the Quick Change, and we were ready to go. Robin has arrived back this morning. He wasn’t with us yesterday due to a pre arranged filming of the “Strictly” Christmas Special. He opens the show, so he stepped into the “Flying By Foy” Magic mirror that Jamie had tecked for him yesterday, standing in for The Man In The Mirror.
The Mirror swoops across the stage way above the audience, and we were off. I’m currently typing this in the dressing room, carefully sitting in pink sequins carefully arranged not to sit on them at 9.30pm. Emma is cackling over the tannoy as she flies across the auditorium on her prehistoric creature! An ordinary day in Pantoland. I would be lying if I said my feet are not hurting me very much now. I’m not usually in the shoes for this long!
From 9.30pm to 10pm we rehearsed the magic cabinet business that involves both John and I, and that is where we continue tomorrow morning at 10am in costume to complete the technical. An awful lot covered today, a major achievement thanks to the efforts of our Stage Crew here at VC and to Michael and Arthur, and of course the very patient and professional children, all thirty of them who played our dwarfs and our villagers!
I have to admit I administered a little Bombay Mother’s Ruin back at the Hotel to sooth the aching feet, along with Robin and Arthur. We are joined on this Technical by Paul Murphy who will be assisting in Company Stage Management. Andy Parish is away at the moment and we’ll be hearing from him tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s call will be 9.30 to get into costume- We then have about four scenes to the completion of the Technical Rehearsal.



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