This is my Best Shot from the last week at The Musical. Look at all these vibrant, excited kids, full of the joy of life and the magic of being involved in theatre. This was taken on Thursday night as they waited outside the theatre between the matinee and the evening performance.
And here's what captivates us. The stage.
This was taken from prompt side where I was ensconced in my little Stage Manager's position. I love the height of the curtains and the side light casting long shadows across the stage.
One guess as to what THIS represents! Yes, it is the endless hours of sewing I did for costumes.
The purple thing is one of the infamous 'gypsy waistcoats'...although truth be known they had nothing to do with gypsies.
These exuberant two are my lighting girls. They were stunners! Capable, reliable, mostly on task..they left the boys for dead although I have to say that after three days of me explaining exactly what I needed the Tech boys did rise to the occasion.
At the beginning of each day, the cast and crew sat in the theatre to have the roll called. This was a time of great conviviality and a chance to give feedback and production 'notes'. Here's most of them waiting for the producer to do her thing. Look at our lovely theatre! The only downside is the seats which are the same ones that were there when I last worked in the theatre 27 years ago!
These ones are really for my family in the UK. Many school holidays were spent n the Scott Theatre. I think my Dad is the only family member who has not performed on the stage here. (Although maybe SmokyJo was only backstage...refresh my memory Sis)...
Look what they've done to the courtyard which used to be a grey tiled, prison style exercise yard. I'm sure the gumtree at the rhs wasn't there before. It's a pretty cool theatre though isn't it? It was originally part of the teacher's college and was used as a training theatre for drama students and the like. As such it had all mod cons, stage revolves, trapdoors, massive lighting rigs, access to the stage from all directions and good sized wings (unlike many theatres). This was the gang waiting around on the Thursday night. I think they'd just finished having an ice fight. The picture doesn't capture it as I was too late as usual but the excitement that night was extraordinary. High as kites on life they all were.
Now look what they've done to the dressing rooms!!!!! The size of the dressing rooms was the real downer in the old days. The dancers were always packed into the Green Room as there was not enough room in the dressing rooms for everyone. Now they have knocked walls out and extended back under the stage and under the road behind the building so there are dressing rooms this size on both sides of the main corridor.
This is how I've been spending my days for the last 5 weeks.....with a head full of costume racks. Recognise the dress on the end Mum?? Debenhams in Romsey I think it was...circa 1995. Recycling is a great part of costume coordination. Don't worry, I got the dress back!
Onstage after the show for 'notes'. Those are the gates to 'Heaven' in the background. Not quite the impressive structures I had envisaged......
And so, the musical is over. I didn't get any production shots of course as I was too busy calling cues (standby tabs, standby sfx 5, standby AV 12, standby LX 67.......) but I'm hoping there may be some available on the school intranet which I can pinch. It was a fantastic week. Exhausting but exhilarating. I really bonded with the tech crew as we wisecracked our way through the performance (watch out on youtube for the video they secretly took of me dancing side stage).
Me: so, sweepstakes; how far downstage do you think these two will come tonight?
Spot Tech: first tab.....
AV: by the sofa..........
Lighting: they'll go exactly as far as they always do.......
She was right they never came any further down......no matter WHAT the director said to them.
On the last night the Techies approached me with furtive and conspiratorial glances. "Can we have a word with you Mrs A?" It transpired that this was the last musical for their AV teacher and they wanted to do something special. It was my job to get him on stage while the Techies, all in black and wearing aviator sunglasses, marched down both aisles to the tune of 'The Eye of the Tiger' and paraded onto the stage to make a presentation to their 'Chief'. It was fantastic! I was called upon to come up with very inventive stories as to why the Techies couldn't join us on stage to start with and to distract the chief at the end of the show when he was trying to herd them all down.....I think he figured it out eventually. I'm a hopeless liar it must be said.
Did I ever wish I was onstage again? Maybe. I miss dancing particularly. I can't sing anymore although that didn't stop me turning off my headset mike and croaking along at the top of my voice to 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot' (it's OK, there was a chorus around a mike in the wings so I wasn't ruining anything) and also bellowing the last few choruses of 'A Pilgrim People' sung to the tune of Jupiter from Holst's 'The Planets'.
We praise you God the Father
We praise you Christ the Son
We praise you Holy Spirit
The best is yet to come......
I always loved these mirrors.
For an unbiased and hilarious critique of the show (and my response to same) check out the Bestie's Blog.
For other Best Shots