Friday, December 07, 2007

Well the first performance went pretty well - for a village panto that has had precious little rehearsal and no technical run through. My most anxious moment happened was the moment I realised I had forgotten a Vital Prop. I was under the stage waiting to make my appearance through a trapdoor on the small thrust stage in front of the main curtain. I discovered that I didn't have the prop in plenty of time to get it so I worked my way back towards one of the other two trapdoors under the main stage to get some one to fetch it for me. Just to paint the picture a little more clearly for you here: Ballachulish Village Hall's stage is not good. The under-stage space I am crawling around in is just about high enough to stoop in and is full of junk. To get up through one of the three tiny trapdoors that have been hacked into it over the years with any kind of grace is next to impossible. I realise I cannot use the trapdoor in the wings the usual way of getting under and up out of there without the audience seeing you because last time I had looked there was a pile of props sat on top of it. The only other trapdoor is in the centre of the stage but - as good luck would have it - the scene that is being played is happening in front of the main curtains. (We deliberately write in scenes that can take place in front of the main curtains to give time for the sets to be changed. Closing the curtains between changes and expecting the audience to stare at a couple of big bits of red cloth while trying to puzzle out whether the crashes and thuds and muted swearing that come out from behind them is part of the show or not is just no fun for anyone. So we try to disguise the fact that people are doing frustrated wrestling with scenery by doing short scenes out front to cover the noise.) I was under the stage waiting to join in one of these short scenes so I figured it would be safe to nip up through the trap in the centre of the stage (the one without a pile of stuff on it) and get my prop. Wrong. Someone had misunderstood a cue and had opened the main curtains. My head popped up in the middle of the stage like some demented bewigged gopher. I don't think too many people saw me before I managed to duck down again (I didn't hear a laugh) but I felt pretty bloody stupid. By the time I made it to the trap in the wings the pile of stuff on top of it had been cleared and I managed to get my missing prop in time.

As a technical rehearsal it was great. Pity we had to do it in front of punters but there you go. The audience seemed to enjoy it. Laughed a lot. And at the jokes too.


Phoebe said...

There really aren't enough demented biwigged gophers in the world, you know.

If only I had a photograph. What a precious moment!

Hope the shows go well!!!


Anonymous said...

Sorry about this. Just a test 'cos I've tried and failed to leave comments.

Anonymous said...

What did I do right?

Anonymous said...

I dunno but it worked.

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