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Its all mirrors! Day Two.

December 2, 2020
The Auditorium Kenneth More Theatre

Called a bit later today- midday, and so my two minute walk to work was quiet- I’d missed rush hour on the grass path beside the dual carriageway! Today the main thing for me to rehearse was “The Mirror Routine”- a Panto sketch that dates back to The Marx Brothers, and possible before that in American Vaudeville . This is the one where traditionally Dame and Comic try on hats , both dressed identically, although I can recall my mate Britt Ekland doing it with John Inman- in fact, part of it is on this site in the YouTube section- it was featured in our “Pantoland” documentary.

I’ve done this routine here in 2009, and with John Evans in Venue Cymru, and now its back to the KM Theatre, this time with Karl Greenwood putting on the identical costume, wig and High Heels! It is quite complicated to learn (well, it is for me!) and involves counting in my head, something that dancers regard as second nature. I’m no dancer! Today Owen and Jocelyn took Karl and I through the sequence a good few times. Heavy going in a mask I can tell you! Its a bit longer than I’ve done before, and has mostly new choreography and even has mobility scooters involved! We’ll be rehearsing this whenever we are free, and will run it every day. John, if you are reading this, you’ll remember the “Every day” part!

Niamh & Ben onstage

I popped my head into the auditorium this afternoon. Technical Supervisor Ben Ward, DSM Chris Musgrave, along with Niamh Percy, Stephen Barrow and Michael Casey were hoising large rosy apples up to lighting bars, and rigging ready for our tech rehearsals next week- we’ll be tech dressing the panto from Monday onwards ready for Wednesday opening at 7pm. This panto is a full length show, with an interval- I think there are a lot of Pantomimes that will be doing shorter versions, due to logistics of seating, timings for transport, schools performances and the like. We will be live streaming many performances, and the five cameras are set up, and ready for action.

Stephen Barrows and Chris Musgrave onstage

Tomorrow we will be concentrating on the musical numbers- So far we have blocked and “staggered through” both Acts- I’ve nearly got “off the book”, and will attempt tomorrow to not use the script if possible! we’ll see how that goes! Had a chat with Wicked Queen Malania – aka Michelle Bishop. We chatted about a mutual frirend, Director Carole Todd- Michelle was in the fabulous “Snow White” at The Victoria Palace directed by Carole, and I did many a “Cinderella” for Paul Elliott with Carole at the helm.

Gemma Eves in festive jumper!

Gemma Eves is involved in the Kenneth More Theatre and The Redbridge Drama Centre here in the borough, and is one of a very jolly group of people involved in running the theatre for “Vision”- Sally Polden is Theatre manager with Emily Thorpe in marketing, Chloe Holder and Tom Blackwell Box Office and Front Of House, and George Polden – we will be bubbled backstage- with bubbles in the bubbles- Stage Crew, children & chaperones- they are in a separate part of the building, with their own entrances and exits, and so I’m not sure we’ll be seeing much of Front Of house, or indeed visitors! No visitors allowed backstage in these times!

Liz in a break from rehearsals.

So my call tomorrow- 11am to run through the Mirror Routine- Nurse Nelly and Muddles, and then I think I might be doing my number in the Ballroom. Familiar to some it might just involve a lot of fruit and feathers on my head!

Nighty Nighty all!

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