Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Days 11 & 12 - "I'll be HOME for Christmas!"

"The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.”  {Ralph Waldo Emerson}

Hello dear readers... numbers are on the up, so I'm obviously reaching an audience somewhere.  It's very flattering that people are returning to read my blog, so please do spread the word and get all your friends to have a butchers!  Combining two days into one here, as I've been off enjoying myself over the weekend, minus the laptop. Starting with Saturday...

...which was the day we’ve all been waiting for… and at the same time dreading.  The producers run!  I was looking forward to it, as it was the first time we ran the show from start to finish, which again is a good indication (even without all the props and effects) of what state our little baby is in.  For the same reason therefore you fear it a little.  What are they going to think? Why aren’t they laughing at this bit?  What DID they laugh at that bit?!  The end result of course is that everyone is always very kind with their thoughts.   Absolutely fantastic to catch up with some of the Arnaud crew, who were present AND…. Mr Nick White, who paid us a visit after moving on to the new St James’.
 I think we all knew there were gaps in the show and a few moments where the “ball was dropped” for whatever reason.  This run through gave Gerry and Jamie (Barber) the chance to access what should “go”.  We were running massively overtime as predicted, so I wasn’t surprised to receive an e-mail on Sunday night with a couple of snips.  Nobody likes cuts, especially if it’s a section or line you’re fond of, but they are unfortunately inevitable.  I have been lucky so far, but expect further cuts may follow by opening night. 

The early finish meant I was free to quickly pop into town and pick up my swanky new suit for opening night!! 
“Who’s that sexy beast of a man?!”
“It’s….. It’s…… IT’S PC PONGO!” or at least this is the response I’m imagining/hoping for!  I somehow doubt I’ll be getting it!
Then for me it was the long drive up to my Homelands, to see Sandy.  It was great to spend some time with her and my parents.  A couple of vinos and the “Celebrity final” were a wonderful way to relax before the mayhem of tech week begins!  It also gave me the chance to see Sandy in her panto – and she was fantastic!!

Monday saw us in the Methodist Church – our homely rehearsal room for the last time.  We did another run to work the bits that needed working and put into practice the suggested cuts.  We’ve had to lose a number in Act one, so unfortunately the audience won’t get the chance to see the wonderful Royce giving us his Dolly Parton and singing “9 to 5”.  It was a very entertaining number, so it’s a shame you won’t get to see it… the idea’s there for future shows though!  I show felt a lot smoother with the cuts – it just flowed better.
After lunch we went through all the Abanazer scenes for Gerry.  Kit is otherwise engaged for a special Royal gig on our opening performance, and Gerry has the task of filling the boots, so to speak.  Gerry, ever the pro already knows all the words – so it didn’t take long.

Eventually it was time to move into our “home” for the next 6 weeks, and my “home from home” theatre – the YVONNE ARNAUD!!!!!  I’ve been put into dressing room 7, this time around – my lucky number, and on arrival found a lovely gift and card from Mr Barber.  Now this is how thoughtful the folk at the Arnaud are and how well they know me… instead of the usual bottle of wine welcome… I had two giant bottles of ginger beer!!  “WHAT?!?!  No booze!”  I hear you cry…?!?!  Well it’s a bit of an in joke, but 4 years ago, myself, PG and Lloyd Hollett found ourselves in the daily ritual of a pre-interval ginger beer gathering…. And so the Ginger Beer club was born! 
Final part of the day was the Sitzprobe, which for anyone not ion the know, is  German phrase meaning “Seated rehearsal” – where everyone gets to sing with and hear the band for the first time.  It was a great atmosphere in the Circle Bar, where we held it and it was joyous to finally hear all the arrangements! Well done to Anthony and the band!

So, we’re in, we’re settling and we’re ready for it…. So BRING ON THE TECH!
Best Wishes,
Pongo X

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