Today is Panto Day! Around the country hundreds of theatres have been keen on sharing the love for pantomime and in Wolverhampton we've had a very long but exciting day of tech rehearsals. I sat in on the afternoon session and kept a blog diary of events for the Grand Theatre's new backstage blog which you can read here: http://www.grandbackstageblog.co.uk
"It’s lunchtime at the Grand Theatre and things were unusually quiet when I entered the auditorium… but not for long! “Testing pyro!” shouted someone from the wings as a sparkly explosion erupted from the stage."
As part of the day's events, theatre's up and down the country have been posting pictures of their cast members holding the I LOVE PANTO signs! I spent a busy tea break running around to find willing volunteers to photograph - it wasn't too difficult, we're a stagey bunch of people.
Oliver Dale, Keith Harris and Lucian Collier
"The curtain rises on a town and we’re about to go from the top of the scene. Less than one minute in and we’ve stopped already – Nigel Ellacott’s entered from the wrong side of the stage, oh dear!"
The cast have a long day of tech rehearsals finishing at 10pm tonight, the crew will be staying until 2am to configure more of the lighting. They face the same again tomorrow, with a first dress run scheduled for tomorrow evening - it's a tough week! The show opens on Saturday and there are two performances each day!
Frankie Armitage, Bryony Thompson and Sophie Brooke-Ford
"The babes have joined the cast on stage and are ready for a musical number with Nigel but wait, where’s King Ken? He’s our very own Wolverhampton Wanderer! "
I've only spent five hours with the company today and it was clear within the first few minutes that they're a very talented and hardworking group of people. This afternoon was hilarious, and we only staggered through a few scenes! This year's pantomime promises to be very entertaining and I can't wait to see it properly at the press night on Tuesday.
Robert Tregoning, Matthew Hartley, Oliver Dale, Sian Harriman, Lucian Collier
There are still tickets available for JACK AND THE BEANSTALK and I urge everyone to buy one. You can call the box office on 01902 42 92 12 or visit the website and book here: http://grandtheatre.info/WhatsOn_focus.asp?ShowId=604&sC=page10
Remember to read my full blog diary here: http://www.grandbackstageblog.co.uk