Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Day 3 - Pongo The Mug!!

"Acting is all about honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made." {George Burns}

Hi-de-hi readers - Most important news out of the way first.... only 34 sleep until Christmas, so if you haven't already started buying your gifts, don't forget the big light switch on in Guildford tomorrow night, which signals the start of late night shopping every Thursday!!!

Not a great start to the day for me today... Took an hour to get from Brook to Guildford - which let me assure you is a very boring journey to be crawling along, especially when it's making you late!  My spirits were soon lifted however upon reaching the rehearsal room and seeing what the ensemble have done with the opening number.  It looks fantastic and it's only day three.

Royce was back to day and he was on fire!  He's had us all in tears again today.  He, Emma, Joe, Kit and myself were rehearsing the laundry scene, which has some beautifully funny business for all involved - especially me, as I come a cropper with the equipment - I'm hoping it will be one of the memorable scenes and probably one of the children's favourites. 

The highlight of the day for me was Kit (Abanazer) goosing Royce (Twankey).  I don't think Royce was expecting what came his way, but Kit was simply following his stage directions, creeping across stage and giving our Dame a massive squeeze on the 'arris!  Royce's lips pursed for an "ooooooooower" and his eyes rolled inwards - this reaction combined with his next line was priceless, and as so often happens in panto - it's stayed in! We also enjoyed an impromptu bit of ABBA mania today, which flung us all back to the seventies for a moment of madness - but as ever I don't want to give too much away.

Gerry worked on the dancing with the ensemble for a sizable chunk of the morning, which gave the rest of us plenty of opportunity for tea, coffee, biscuits and chats.  Theatrical chats of course... one topic being the late, great Danny La Rue.  Jamie Attle, our costume designer and wardrobe master mentioned that he purchased some of Danny's costumes and head dresses at an auction a couple of years ago, and that Royce would actually be wearing one of them in the show - it meant a lot to him as they were old friends.  Danny was actually in the first pantomime I ever saw at the Birmingham Hippodrome, when I was a little sprog.  Back in the days when it wasn't against health and safety legistration to throw sweets into the audience; apparently this is a safe move as low flying sweets could cause bruising, nose bleeds, blindness or even DEATH!  Oh and of course they rot your teeth... it really wouldn't surprise me if that is written down in some Westminster office!

We staggered through Act 1 this afternoon and it looks and feels in good shape - it's already packed with funny moments and we've got another fortnight before we open!  We we're allowed to leave early again today which freed me up to do a bit of shopping and get still get home nice and early!  Enjoyed the latest goings on from the jungle - great news that Brian Conley is shaping up well out of hospital!!  He can't be ill for long.... he's got panto (Robinson Crusoe @ Brum Hipp) to prepare for and "the show must go on!"

I also received a very thoughtful and personal gift from the guys at "the day job" today.  When I'm not trading the boards I have to do what every other job-in actors hate... swallow your pride and go back to the day job... bills have got to be paid somehow!  Thankfully for me I work at a beautiful little pub in Brook called "The Dog & Pheasant" with a lovely staff and probably the world's most understanding and accommodating bosses.  I've worked for them (on and off) for three and a half years now, at different pubs along the way - I say "on and off" because they very kindly let me have time off for theatre jobs (such as this two months) and then come back afterwards - it's very rare and so very much appreciated to have that kind of security... and I don't fancy McDonalds!  Anyway - the gift.  Adella (one of my work chums) had already given me a card, lots of choccies and some port on Sunday, but today she gave me a mug with another mug on it.  my ugly mug that is - dressed as Pongo from the posters, and wishing me Good Luck from all at the D&P... I'll pop a picture up for you.  this will be the cup that holds all my teas, coffees and manuka honey with echinacea over the run! God send - so thanks guys!

Anyway - I'll leave you for tonight.  Don't forget to pop down and see the lights tomorrow.  I'll be back on FRIDAY as there may be one or seven too many glasses of wine in the blood tomorrow night as we're all meeting for pre panto drinks! 
So "Cheers!"
Pongo X

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