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Full Run Thru Friday!

December 5, 2020

Friday December 4th 2020

A final day in the Studio at the Kenneth More Theatre today. It’s a good feeling to be at this stage (or studio!) after only four days- with a full non-stop run through of our newly created, shiny new, Socially distanced Pantomime!

The Auditorium is looking pretty crowded, as is the stage. The two days to follow- Saturday and Sunday will involve our hard working Technical team, rigging, setting up the lights, the scenery, the sound equipment and indeed some of the projection effects, especially The Magic Mirror- voiced by Andrew Ryan- in a home made studio. Andrew like many theatre folk who do work with voice recordings has done what many have done- invested in some decent recording equipment and created a studio out of duvets and sofas, cushions and other noise reducing devices. He’s created a very chilling vocal”Man in the Mirror”

So today we cleaned up some songs, some dance routines in the morning. We made some recordings ourselves, in the Theatre Green Room, and Michelle was filmed for a sequence as Wicked Queen first thing. Costume fittings were carried out, and Jocelyn took Calum, Chris and myself through my Ballroom Comedy number- I’m comedy, the boys are dancing brilliantly! Accompanied by Harry and Dan we got the number up and running in a few goes. I am very proud that this number began life here, in this very studio when Peter & I did it back in 1981 (long before anyone else in this routine was born!) and on, and I revived it for my Dame’s number back here again in 2009. Thank you John Inman & Barry Howard for the inspiration, and to Barrie for Permission to take thir number and rewrite it to fit each venue!

We did a full run through of the entire show with all the music, most of the sound effects and a lot of props to get a timing. We are in a very good place- thanks to Owen leading a team of people who know what to do, and do it so well, AND in masks! I have to admit belting out a number while wearing a face mask is not fun- it kind of sucks in as you breathe and makes it difficult, but that is a VERY small price to pay for the honour of actually being to be IN a show at this time. So grateful.


I said as much in a lovely chat with Sarah Ecob at Venue Cymru. This week I would have been in Llandudno rehearsing. Then the world changed. We talked about being IN a show like this one, and how Venue Cymru remains a hospital on stand-by, and the tremendously difficult times a tourist resort like Llanduno has faced this year. At the same time Bobby Crush- Bobby was Dame here last year, was on a train travelling back from Rhyl today! Bobby has been recording his “Ugly Sister” for AB Productions- a Panto that will be online very soon.

The Great British Pantomime Company is now online presenting “Goldilocks” , headed by my mate Marc Seymour as Dame and a cast of my Panto Pals! Good luck to Lee Redwood and his “Made To Measure” Panto which opened today at Weymouth! Rapunzel lets down her hair throughout Christmas live on Stage!

Sally Polden & Tom Blackwell with Stephen Barrow

We had an audience for the run thru! Sally the Theatre Manager and Tom from Front Of House/Box Office joined us in full festive attire, bearing Off-Sales wands and Tiaras, and thankfully laughed at the funny bits! We’ve reached that tricky stage for comics when everyone in the room has heard your routines a dozen times, so a fresh face is ALWAYS welcomed!

Props and essentials!

Our props are working out well, kept in their individual boxes, so you only handle your own prop. In previous years tubs of Celebrations or Heros were to be found in the rehearsal room. These times its Dettol, in all its many forms. We are so fortunate. We are so lucky. We all have mates who can’t be a part of Pantoland this year- so please support them in their live shows, in their recorded & live streamed shows, and keep supporting Pantos wherever and whenever they can be produced!

I’d be telling porkies if I didn’t admit to be being tired when I get home (and I am hugely lucky to live so close). I think the wearing of the masks and the sheer shock of actually DOING something after such a long period of inactivity is doing that- but this is the way to do it at this moment in time. The Palladium get-in is happening right now, the Qdos Pantos are rehearsing next week in those venues that are allowed to be open, and others await maybe February and March pantomimes to herald 2021.

I’m off to watch the final of “I’m A Celebrity” from Glorious North Wales, and maybe witness a few future panto stars in the making! Shane will show them how its done!

Until Monday and our first Technical Rehearsal- Enjoy your week-ends. Do leave a message on the board to let me know that you are reading this! Its nice to know!

  1. Steve Liversedge permalink

    You asked for a message as its nice to know who’s reading the blog so here it is as its always nice to know you’re nice to know! I must say I admire your resilience getting a show together under such difficult circumstances- especially as you must be 147 if you’re a day!! Steve Liversedge 🤓🎭

  2. Terry permalink

    Keep nattering away; great reading material as usual! Terry

  3. martin warren permalink

    Massive kudos to everyone working so hard to put on a show. Its heartbreaking that live events have been so badly affected. Here’s to tomorrow and the day after that, and the day after that … big hugs

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