Company Manager Neil is back to catch us up on the tour goings on
Hi all and a very belated happy New Year!
I keep thinking I must update the blog, and then something happens ! But finally here it is…
The last shows in Oxford were really sad – saying goodbye to Michael Praed, Connie (for the moment) and also Laura our very lovely Children’s Musical Director – but also quite exciting as most of the company had a very well deserved three-week holiday.
I had a quick week off and then it was down to London to start rehearsals.
It was very strange after nearly two years to be back in a rehearsal room, marking the set on the floor with tape and getting ready to meet the new cast, you still always get that first day of school feeling.
The London rehearsals went so quickly, Jason Donovan and Verity Rushworth are an absolute dream to work with and great fun, so we all knew this next part of the tour was going to be really exciting and different.
Towards the end of the two weeks in London more and more of the cast joined rehearsals and amazingly in two weeks we had re-rehearsed the show again and were ready to hit the road. It was also great to have our children in rehearsals in London and to see so many of the parents again. We never really see the parents on the road as the children are collected and returned via our chaperones. It was noted though that a lot of the mums seemed to be quite dressed up to pick up the kids and we did get some lovely treats delivered , am sure nothing to do with our new Captain!
If you mention you are going to work in Hull most people for some reason look at you with pity, as for some reason (probably the name) the town has got a bad reputation. For us it was a really great three week run. The New Theatre is one of the friendliest theatres you can play and the city actually is really well looked after. The crew have all been at the theatre for years and they couldn’t be more accommodating or brilliant, our technical rehearsals with the new set went incredibly well and the show opened smoothly. The Hull audiences were also fantastic and everyone really has taken to our new Captain and Maria. It really felt like we were opening a new production. There were also more goodbyes in Hull, this time to Andy our Sound Operator, but in true Sound of Music style we made sure he had a really great leaving party! Three-week runs of the show go so quickly and it was soon time to pack up again and head to Stoke.
I have played the Regent Theatre so often that it is another place that feels like home, and again another really great crew and theatre staff. The theatre was rebuilt 10 years ago and is a vast 1930’s building with a really quite crazy colour scheme. Again we had amazing audiences and the company as ever managed to keep busy during the day with trips to Alton Towers, pottery painting and the children had a good fun day at Monkey World. Sadly Eddie our Stage Manager left at the end of our time Stoke – hopefully the end of our staff changes. The weeks, as ever, seemed to fly by and before we knew it we had another holiday week
After the holiday the show was back again and this time in Derry. I’ve been to Belfast many times but never ventured to the other side of Northern Ireland so it was great to be visiting a new town and a new theatre. Derry is a really beautiful walled city and the theatre again is only 10 years old and although a little ‘cosy’ backstage has really amazing front of house space, the auditorium looks very like a small Wales Millennium Centre. Everyone in Derry has really been so friendly so far, the show opened last night and the audiences are probably the most vocal we’ve has so far on tour.
Now I’ve caught up on the last couple of months, I promise to keep this updated much more regularly and bring you all the news from our Irish adventure.
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