Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Day 7 - Rubbing rings and giant lamps and an abundance of boxes!!

Our show proves that some pretty incredible things can happen when people come together. {Ty Pennington}

The second act is blocked folks!!!  We're nearly there... with plenty of time left to tighten things up and improve any bits that may feel a bit sticky.  It feels so nice to be at this stage with 4 days of rehearsals left to go.... but I can't wait to get into the theatre and be reunited with the theatre staff and crew!!!

First thing this morning - after sitting for an hour in traffic again, we brushed up the loose ends from yesterdays work.  Gerry had rethought a section of one scene, so that Pongo was involved a little bit more, as he's present but not speaking, so that was very much appreciated and of course reassuring - Gerry looks at things as a whole and will change them if the bigger picture doesn't work.  You'll very often hear him talking about things "reading" right and the best trait of his direction.... the plot.  So many panto's nowadays, simply get a z-list celebrity from 1984 on the bill, cram loads of naff jokes in and do away with the story... not Gerry!  That's the most important thing to him, and he's right - kids aren't interested in reeling off their set list - they want to see the princess progress and marry her Prince (etc).

Royce was on form again this morning.. having everyone in stitches with his reactions and ad libs.  We have one scene together where he mocks my accent, and I don't think I've managed to get my words out yet without corpsing.  He very sweetly asked if I was ok with him taking the mickey - of course, I am, I quite enjoy it when it's done in good humour, in fact most of the crew at the Arnaud shout "alroooit Jaaamaay!" whenever they see me - so I'm used to it!  Either way it was very nice to be asked.

To the non actors out there corpsing is the term used for when an actor breaks his/her character and laughs on stage.  Thankfully in panto, the taboo of corpsing isn't as frowned upon by people as it may be if you we're doing Chekhov, say!  In panto land it can actually add to the experience for the audience, as I have mentioned previously.

Lunchtime came and we enjoyed a very amusing game with the ensemble and Anthony (MD) where one of us would call out a musical and people had to sing a line from that show.  in the end it turned into a challenge to find a musical that Joe didn't know!  He's got a very good muso knowledge.

I also had a couple of lovely chats with Gerry, Royce and Susie today, starting off on the topic of Mrs Brown's Boys... a favourite of us all.  They soon went off on a tangent about theatre folk of old and sharing stories of previous jobs, but it didn't matter I love to listen to this - I find it so interesting.  My good friends Jeff, Dawn and Jamie also have this wealth of knowledge, simply from occupying the world of theatre on a day to day basis, and I always look forward to hearing anecdotes.   Jamie sometimes references sitcoms of the seventies etc, with the post script "but that's before your time"  and I quickly have to remind him I'm an eighty year old man in a twenty six year old's body and know exactly what he's talking about!  (Mostly!)   They have such a wealth of knowledge, I can only hope I'll be lucky enough to have gained that knowledge in the future.  Susie was sharing stories from her "Wicked" days and Gerry and Jill we're telling me about forgotten panto's... I think a revival may be in order.

No slapstick today - we were given a break.  I was quite relieved because I've started to ache from my stint at the gym on Sunday.  Wimp!  instead we did a bit of singing and worked on the finale song... You are going to love it Guildford!!!  Absolutely love it!  Put it this way... the song we are doing is one of 2012's biggest hits and although I loathe the original, the lyric change Gerry has orchestrated is phenomenally funny, and the dance which we are learning tomorrow, I have no doubt will be likewise!

I drove past the Arnaud today to go and see the huge lamp that has been installed for myself; it looks brilliant on the roof between the Christmas trees.  Rumour has it that it smokes - so I can't wait to see that!

I wish I had counted how many times we have all said "Rub the ring" "Rub it" [in regards to the lamp] and heard "put him/her in the box".  We seem to have boxes coming out of our earholes today, so it caused much amusement for the actors.  And the ring rubbing innuendo never fails to amuse, especially with myself and Kit.

Righto, I promised myself I was having an early one tonight to try and catch up with my sleep, so I'll sign off for now before going to learn some more lines.  I've got Pongo sorted so now it's time to move onto the understudying - but that's a whole different blog!

God Bless,

P.S.  In my haste to get into the bath I forgot to mention the beating I suffered at the hands of one Mr Peter Gordon today.  We'd discussed, a little tap or brush off in one of our scenes to just try and help a gag land better.  When we did it however , PG fancied himself as the next David Haye and smacked me on the chest!  I shall be claiming for damages, and as a policeman, I will be filling my own report!

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