A huge congratulations to our incredible cast and crew for the opening success Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs! Best of luck for the rest of the run…break a leg!
On Monday 2nd December the cast of this year’s magical production of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ arrived at The Octagon Theatre for their first day of rehearsals. These rehearsals mark a very exciting time here at the Theatre as every room is taken over with a different aspect of pantomime prep!
Upon arrival the cast were welcomed by Adam Burgan, Arts and Entertainment Manager at The Octagon, with a quick-fire round of state your name, part and favourite Disney film – in case you were wondering ‘Bedknobs and Broomsticks’ came out top – before Steve Bennett, resident Dame in Exeter for 15 years and our wonderful director, led the cast in their first ever read-through of this year’s brilliantly written script.
After the read-through the cast split off into separate parties and found homes in every nook and cranny of the building. Currently, if you were to take a tour of the building this is probably what you would come across…
Starting in the foyer our hilarious comic Eddie Dredge, aka Muddles, is making mischief whilst the ever-evil Sarah Aveling practices her cackle. Down the corridor our beautiful Snow White, Victoria McCabe, sings with her Prince, Daniel Oliver. In the Johnson Studio the dancers and our panto juveniles are busy perfecting their choreography; whilst, in the wardrobe room Steve Bennett is having his Dame dress fitted. Backstage our technicians are hard at work building the set, rigging the lights and testing the sound; meanwhile, up in our Café/bar The Magnificent Seven are running through their songs and dance numbers.
Today is the first time that the cast will get to try out their rehearsals on stage as they take part in the Producer’s Run – a non-costumed, non-technical rehearsal allowing the cast to try out their work on stage for the first time in order to see what works and what needs changing.
So as you can tell, everyone is working incredibly hard here at The Octagon. Our Box Office staff are taking more and more bookings for the pantomime – you might like to know that we’ve broken the Box Office record, selling more tickets for this production than for any previous Octagon Theatre pantomime! The panto cast are rehearsing into the wee hours of the morning and the technical staff are kiting out our stage with our incredible set, sound and lighting. All whilst our Front of House staff are madly unwrapping panto goodies, programmes and, most importantly, making sure we have enough ice creams to see us through all 41 fabulous performances of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’.
On Friday 29 November, Adam Burgan, Arts and Entertainment Manager at The Octagon Theatre, received the news that he had won Encore Magazine’s Theatre Manager of the Year Award for the second consecutive year.
Adam Burgan won Theatre Manager of the Year for the first time in 2012, recognising the increased attendance and ticket sales, successful Arts Council grants and development of participatory activity at South Somerset District Council run theatre since he became Arts and Entertainment Manager in 2009. Mr Burgan’s programming skills have undoubtedly helped him to secure the title of Theatre Manager of the Year for the second time, given that The Octagon’s last Autumn/Winter season included no less than 25 sell out shows such as: Ken Dodd, The Nutcracker, Mary Berry, Fascinating Aida, Alan Davies and Show of Hands – to name a few!
Adam said “I was surprised and delighted to win the award for the theatre for a second year running. It is a national award nominated for and voted by colleagues in the industry: artists, producers, other venues and audiences so to have this ‘pat on the back’ for a second year is just wonderful. I think it recognises all of the dedicated, talented and passionate people who work or visit The Octagon. This theatre really is a fantastic place that makes so many people happy and makes a difference to people’s lives and the community in South Somerset. I’m so proud to be part of it and to have this recognised on a national platform is fantastic.”
Councillor Sylvia Seal, Portfolio Holder for Leisure & Culture said, “To achieve such a great award for the second year running is a credit to Adam and his team. It also shows the dedication and hard work put in by all to make the public’s experience at The Octagon Theatre as good as it can be. Congratulations Adam, to your team and also to Evolution Productions for your Producer of the Year award. I think both awards really show the quality of those that work and perform at The Octagon Theatre.”
Producers of The Octagon Theatre’s latest pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Evolution Productions, were also delighted to find out on Friday that they too have won an award from Encore Magazine: Producer of the Year. Evolution’s award is clearly well deserved as Snow White has proved to be a Box Office smash for The Octagon Theatre – having already sold more tickets than any previous pantomime at the theatre before the production opens on 12th December!
For more information and to book tickets for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs simply call the Box Office on 01935 422884, visit www.octagon-theatre.co.uk or pop into the theatre.
NEWS: Due to high demand for tickets an extra date has been added for The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain! To book and for more information visit: http://www.octagon-theatre.co.uk/events/2014/april/the-ukulele-orchestra-of-great-britain.aspx
Music legend Joe Brown is back at The Octagon on 13 May and we say hello to The Gruffalo from 23 – 25 May 2014! More information: http://www.octagon-theatre.co.uk/what’s-on.aspx
Joe McElderry releases his new single Wonderful Dream (Holidays Are Coming) today. See Joe live at The Octagon Theatre on Saturday 3 May 2014. More info: http://www.octagon-theatre.co.uk/events/2014/may/joe-mcelderry.aspx