14 shows are now complete and the theatre returned back to an empty black box as we packed the magic away for another year.
A huge thank you to all the team who made it possible.
Tickets are now on sale for this year’s yet to be announced panto.
A side stage photo of the props on stage. If you know you know!
After spending around 70 hours setting everything up, the first four shows are now done.
Two cracking shows today with good audiences to round off the opening weekend.
Still a few bits to tweak, but all looking good.
Now for a day off to recover!
Get-in days 1 and 2 done.
Day 1 (8 hours) – Thanks to the team, we rigged all of the lighting over the stage, installed the Sound Booth and projectors, painted the stage and got everything prepared for the arrival of the set.
Day 2 (12 hours) – Snow appeared today, as did the set lorry.
The portals, cloths and banners are all on their bars, plus 5 out of the 6 pieces of masking.
All other lighting is now rigged.
DSM desk and comms all set up.
Sound equipment was installed and configured.
The photo was taken at the end of day one and shows the LX that was rigged and the crew giving the stage a fresh coat of paint before the set arrived.
Now that Evita has finished, we are headlong into Panto preparations.
We mark out the rehearsal room with the cloth positions so the cast get used to the space they have for each scene. In addition we also mark out key set pieces too.
To speed things up when marking out we have the labels for the floor pre-prepared to cover a couple of rehearsals. This allows any member of the team to mark out.
Company MK were back with their production of Evita.
Just a ‘small’ set, designed by Mr HIPPOFROG, based on the previous Chicago set, with lots of rostra. This time, there was also a 3m LED screen with projection. There were 16 radio mics too.
This is the most complex show we have undertaken in a LONG time.
Cast, Orchestra and our largest Crew to date were needed to make this happen. The sound set-up was extensive with radio mics for everyone, plus the orchestra needing mixing in as well.
An added complication of Mr HIPPOFROG testing positive for COVID in the run up to the get-in didn’t help matters.
This show had been put on hold due to the pandemic and sadly he had to miss his equivalent of opening night (the first get-in day) after planning for several years. Luckily his extensive planning paid off and the Crew were able to work their magic, including painting the stage floor swamp green!
As some of the Cast had also tested positive, including Shrek and Fiona, we organised for them to attend the sitzprobe over ZOOM, therefore providing a safe environment for the rest of the company.
All were welcomed back at the end of their quarantine and the 5 performances went ahead as scheduled with no further cases.
After an enforced break, the Juliet Ratnage Dance School show was back.
We rigged and de-rigged and also ensured that the many students got to the stage on time for their numbers.
Phew! We need a long lie down now.
After nearly 80 hours setting everything up, it’s taken around 8 hours to take it all apart.
The Crew have worked their magic and are now going back to their real jobs for a rest!
This weekend was the start of our Panto get-in.
4T of rigging and LX were delivered to the Theatre, and 5 hours later the team had the additional infrastructure rigged and in the roof.
The above stage LX was also cabled and sparked in readiness for the next part of the get-in, when the set arrives.
This is a picture from the fly floor looking down on the stage.
Rehearsals for Panto are underway, with Mr HIPPOFROG attending 3 times a week.
The floor is being marked out in the rehearsal space, using the plans put together earlier.
Based on what we have discovered during the rehearsal process so far, there have been a few updates to the plans.
In the background, we are carrying out a thorough check on our kit as most of it hasn’t been touched for almost two years.
We are also gathering availability for Rig and Show Crew. Like those performing, we will need some stand-by Crew members who can step in at short notice if needed. If you are 18+ and interested in lending a hand as a member of Crew, then please get in touch.