Pantomime - This year with comedy stage manager on crutches

The start of December for me is Pantomime season - I’m the only one of the stage managers at our theatre who is stupid enough or can actually manage to make the time to handle a 2 week run (1 week build/rehearsal, 1 week performance run) - we had previously tried to do this with multiple stage managers each doing a shorter period with less success.

This year things are slightly different - I’m not back to full fitness, so am running the show in a slightly more executive mode to normal - ie I tell other people to adjust lights rather than me climbing ladders myself.  I’ve only been back at work a couple of weeks, and am having some issues with managing the swelling of my left foot and lower leg, so its probably not the most sensible thing I could be doing - but its for a relatively short period, and is getting back into something approaching normal life.

The other thing that is different this year is that the Rowntree Players have written their own pantomime script.  I very much admire them for that - it has obviously been one hell of a lot of work.  In their favour it saves them the licensing fee that would normally be paid for a script - probably in the order of £500 to £600 - and allows the script to be tailored for what they can do well.

And this script is good.

Its also, from a technical point of view, set so that the changes between scenes can be done very quickly, meaning the audience are not left sitting in the dark whilst shadows move stuff into place on stage - so the whole pace is kept up.

There has also been a lot of work put into the various dance routines - the introductory song has a huge number of things happening in it (very similar to the first part of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast - all the characters pass through during it) and the choreography to Heatwave is also stunning.

So at this point - 4 performances down, 6 to go - I am having a whale of a time, with a great supporting backstage crew and a good performing company.  I may be exhausted (although I’m taking care to pace myself so its not too bad), but this is the sort of thing I do theatre work for!

If you are reading this before the end of the run (12th December), you can get more information on the theatre website, read a preview in the local press (unfortunately at this point they have the wrong photo up on their website) or buy tickets.