So today is National Panto day which was started by Simon Sladen from the British Theatre guide four years a go. It started as a twitter thing but has grown in popularity and covers facebook and the press now – it’s trying to spread the word of panto and make it grow in popularity, and it’s great to see people get behind it. Theatres like The Octagon who love panto really do push it and its great to see them spreading the word over twitter! This year is all about the pout so I have spent the day running round before the show getting various cast members and members of the crew to pout! I even got Theatre Manager Adam Burgan involved! So everyone is loving the pout!
Well we are exactly one week into the run today, we have had such a great time already, and in theory we are half way through our time in Yeovil too, the time really is flying! We started rehearsals 3 weeks ago – we had 2 weeks to get the show up and running, to make sure we could make the beanstalk grow, so the adventure could continue up in Cloudland! Rehearsal days are long, but when you are having as much fun as we had they fly by. Everyone here is getting on far too well, sometimes it doesn’t feel like we are working! The crew, the cast and everyone front of house get on like a house on fire, and so any opportunity to go out and have a catch up over a pint of water is taken up with great gusto!
As I said this evening marks us being open a week and the time is flying our response has been fantastic, after two weeks rehearsing it’s great to hear the kids reaction…and the parents too, the first week or two is always a test as they are hard shows to gage. School audiences are notoriously noisy, just not always in the right places. They love to Boo!! And as soon as Drew walks out as Fleshcreep there is no stopping them!
Since I’ve been down in Yeovil I have done a few of the strangest things I’ve ever done for a panto! We did a promo shoot at the local gym where myself and Drew (Fleshcreep) got to go Zorbing in the swimming pool, which may I tell you isn’t as easy as it looks! I’ve turned a radio presenter into a dame, done the ghost gag on the radio (Which makes a visual gag interesting in the radio format!) and had to get up slightly too early for my own comfort to do a breakfast interview about The Octagon’s first ever BSL performance! All of this sandwiched between two shows a day, six days a week, and a trip to LUSH Spa for a foot massage… as an old comic once told me… you have to look after your feet!
In this show I am doing fifteen changes I think, I lost count after the third one, I really should figure it out, and none of them would be possible without Amy in wardrobe. She is great, she is always there (unless she has forgotten), she has all my costumes hung up ready to go and then once I have spoken through what I wear, and when, she prepares herself a running order so she can have things ready as soon as I walk into the wings. Some of my changes happen in under 30 seconds so we both have to be on the ball.
We had a cast night out bowling the other night, it was great for us all to let our hair down, Adam came a long too. Some people were a lot better than they made out… our Princess, Victoria, for example, said she was rubbish, she went on to get 3 strikes in a row!! RINGER!!!
I’m sure if you are out and about in Yeovil you will see some of us walking around at some point. If you’ve seen the show feel free to say hi! We love to hear your feedback. And if you bump into me in one of the locals, I’ll have a large red!!
If we don’t see you before have a great Christmas! Tickets are selling fast! So if you haven’t yet booked… what are you waiting for! Here’s a handy link for you too book….http://www.octagon-theatre.co.uk/whats-on/pantomime/jack-and-the-beanstalk/
I’ll be back to blog again real soon!! In the mean time! Happy Panto day!