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Opening Day!

January 25, 2017


A fairly frantic Dress Rehearsal this morning,ending at around 1.15pm followed three quarters of an hour later by an opening show! One of those days that blurs past and you don’t take it in until you are on the train home!

I believe we came, they saw and we conquered! It is never going to be slick and relaxed on opening show day. Ever! We had not run the show without a stop to date, and there we were, getting the laughs, coming off stage and saying “What’s Next? How long do I have to change?” and getting back on again.


I had a moment about ten minutes before we opened. Everybody was rushing around and the malestrom that is backstage at Brick Lane flowed past me as I stood in a pointy headdress (superbly made by the magnificent Shirley Davis!) and I thought.. I can’t do this! I cannot remember a single word. (this from Mr Off the book on day two smarty-pants!). The nerves get you that way. I took myself off into a quiet corridor, breathed deeply and the mist cleared. I;m grateful to say I did all my lines and that may probably be the first and last- but we did it.


Deadly Nightshade is in the pink in the finale. She’s now a goodie!

The sound was excellent and the augmented three piece orchestra magnificent. It is, after all a MUSIC HALL, and the quality of music, song and dance are to the fore. Plus, we hope, the comedy! I’m also involved in plot so all in all busy backstage!


Andrew whizzed through a lot of changes- I think about eleven. I’ve done my fifteen a show for this year, so I’m very smug with my all black and silver collection (except the finale) coming in at four main changes and assorted capes, hats and over robes. Very smug!

Andrew & Rhys. Andrew as Nanny Fanny.

The running time seems about right- possibly we are ten minutes over, if allowing for comedic “spread”- certainly the schoolroom scene – we did one in “Babes” here a few years back- is likely to lengthen. Tomorrow we are called half an hour early for notes and possible trims to the running times.

The Hour long interval (While the audience enjoys their tea) gave us a chance to breathe after the first half, and of course tuck into our magnificent tea backstage!

I’ve experimented with a new make-up today (during the 45minutes between dress and first show!). Its a purple look for Deadly Nightshade. Charles Fox have now confusingly done away with their long serving “star Gazer” powders and blushers and are currently supplying the waterbased purple “paint” and the Purple “Blusher/Shadow” in EXACTLY the same containers with the titles the size of microscopic text. That’s how I ended up wetting the powder and smearing my face, and starting again! I hope they sort out their new packaging!

Here are a few of Andrew’s changes – assisted by Zara backstage at all times as he flies in and out of the room! I think he changed once every three and a half minutes!

Paul & Hayley -Jo  Finale Time.

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Sam choreographing.       David Harvey transposing!


After show with Vincent & Joanne Hayes, Andrew Robley & Zara Kattan

A busy day tomorrow. A quick rehearsal followed by a 2pm show. We’ll come down at around 5pm then I’m rushing off to Euston to meet up with the Birmingham Hippodrome gang and Andrew Ryan to say goodbye as their panto season comes to an end. They finish on Sunday!


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