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Tech & Dress Monday/Tuesday

December 9, 2020

Two very full days- hence the delay in blogging. Its been a pretty full couple of days, more or less 10am-10pm as is the usual on Technical rehearsals. I’m so fortunate living a few houses down from the Kenneth More- I can finish at ten and be in my front room by five past!

The Quick Change Room

Monday started in the studio briefly, then moved to The Stage. We’ve had dressing rooms for the past week, which really helps with the Social Distancing. I have a secure Quick change room on the ground floor. The “built in the wings” version is not allowed, as traffic flow of people backstage is paramount. Here at the KMT we have two “False Entrances” in the Brick proscenium. Usually reserved for Fairy to enter (Stage Right of course) and Baddie on Stage Left. This time we make use of them a lot, as it means backstage movement is regulated and you don’t cross anyone so to speak!

The use of the Green Room for say, cooking your food in the microwave is regulated and it is not used for gatherings. I have my beloved “Number Two” dressing room, and it is self contained. Kettles, Cuppa Soups, Duvets and the like. I live in the Quick change room most of the show- certainly during these technicals, and My dressing room in between. Chats take place in the long corridors with everyone keeping to mask wearing. The amount of times I’ve tangled my mask in my radio microphone ear piece! Molly my dresser works from behind, and anything requiring front fastening I do myself. Its a very different set of regs, but you know what? I feel relieved these regs are in place.

Remembering to remove the mask before going on is a challenge!

We did well on Monday, Owen set us teching Act Two first- it has more scene changes and scenes requiring attention, and then we started to tech our way through Act one. We got to my Strip in the Haunted Bedroom by 10pm last night, and started back from there this morning (Tuesday) at 11am.

The Opening Scene

Lighting, sound fx, sound, mirror effects all take time. We did well on these aspects. Today we started with The Strip, and then into The Haunted Bedroom. Carl and I spent time working through “The Mirror Routine”- wigs were problematic- hats sliding off, and hair in the eyes (yes- Soft wigs for this scene! My hard wigs won’t allow different hats to be tried on!). We also have a mobility scooter each in this, and that took a bit of practicing. Its not Formula 1 but it is not easy co-ordinating the scooters!

I use a Mobility Scooter twice in the Panto. It may be their way of telling me something!

The tech went well this morning, through lunch and before we knew it- into A full dress rehearsal tonight at 7pm. The unnerving thing about the Dress run (for me) is not knowing HOW LONG I have to change. In rehearsals I spent a fair bit of time working with Carl, my son Muddles- or staying outside rehearsal until called for my scenes, a new way of rehearsing in these times. So- helped by Molly dressing, we treated EVERY exit as a possible Super fast change, and then I hovered (not hoovered) around until I recognised a bit that meant I was about to enter! These are the things that settle down with the first few shows. By Saturday we’ll doubtless be knitting scarves during what is now a breathless change!

Lovely cloth behind me painted by my friend the late Gerry Binns- The KMT hired it back in tribute to the man who painted so much of the scenery here over the years.

Didn’t really eat today- something seemed to crop up each time- so that will compensate for the tub of “Celebrations” I ate binge watching “The Crown”. All the changes went smoothly. Wigs finally worked (Thank you Jocelyn!) for The Mirror routine, and yes, we have some sound, music and lighting cues to tighten up- but we will get there by tomorrow evening- Opening Night!

Tomorrow the theatre is giving the Opening Night and I believe a second night to the NHS. That makes us all so happy. Can’t say how happy. We record tomorrow’s show and I think it gets edited on Thursday- I’m in for voice overs and personalised inserts in between shows Thursday- no duvet time for me until Saturday- so I’m hitting that Duvet now. As we say in all Pantos Nighty Nighty.. To which you of course reply………………?

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