Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Well that's that over with . Ballachulish village panto is done and dusted for at least another year. Though we will never do another matinée. We did two shows on Saturday, one in the afternoon for the kids and those who didn't / couldn't come out late at night, and one in the evening. As the show was some three hours long (even though we trimmed it a bit as we went along for the afternoon show, it was a long hard day) but Jesus! the racket those kids made in the afternoon. It was just impossible.

We're not putting ourselves through that ever again.

The evening show on the other hand went like shit off a shovel. It was just wonderful. I enjoyed every moment of it, as I suspect did everyone else. It was such a pity we live in such a small town. A couple more nights and we would have really started to nail it. I don't think we short changed anybody, everyone who has commented has said they thought it was funnier than the last show two years ago (less plot, more jokes, and genuine comedy underpants this time round) but it would have been nice to do a couple more performances to get some of the timings of the jokes worked out a bit better.

For instance, it was only on the last show I realised that I was standing up wrongly at one point. If, instead of just slowly standing up facing the audience, I stood up with my head bowed and THEN raised my face - the fact that I was suddenly wearing the beard I had donned while supposedly unconscious in a trunk was an awful lot funnier. Things like that are great to work out in front of an audience.

I just like getting the laughs. Getting an audience to laugh at something you have written is just a great feeling.

Merriol (and everyone else) took a brazzilion photos - and I'm nowhere to be seen in any of them because I was always on the stage either out in front of the punters, or pacing and fretting around behind the curtains trying to work out what was going to go wrong next and trying to fix it. The scariest moment of the night for me was waiting on the side of the stage hearing the fanfare that was Lucy's (the princess) cue to enter through the closed main curtains (Another short give-the-guys-a-chance-to-wrestle-scenery scene in front of the Main Curtains). She was on first, had a couple of lines, then I was to enter and the scene was to follow. I heard the fanfare and looked over to where she should have been and saw - only Andy the Stage Manager frantically mouthing and waving down the corridor. Nothing happened. The fanfare sounded again. Still no princess. I rushed over to Andy's side of the stage.
Me: (Shouted whisper) "Where the fuck is she?"
Andy:(Shouted whisper) "She's gone for a pee!"
Me:(Loud shouted whisper)"You Are Fucking Kidding Me!?" (As it happened she hadn't, she had forgotten the scene before was so short and was just in the wrong place, blissfully ignorant of the fact she was supposed to be on stage).

I dive out of the curtain stage right.

"Has anyone seen the Princess? I have been looking all over the palace for her. Hmmmm. maybe she is over there... "

I cross stage and exit behind the curtains again - and rush round to Andy. Still no sign of her!

I step out onto the stage again to keep up my hunting the Princess improv going and wonder how long I can keep this up before people will start to notice that something is going wrong. I'm just about to speak when I hear Andy hiss "She's here!"

Me: (as if noticing audience for the first time) "Ah! I seem to have already looked down this corridor. I shall go back!"


Enter princess.

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