More shows

Performances continue, to appreciative houses, one or two packed, and it’s great to see old frrinds amongst the audience! Yesterday we were treated to Richard Jackson and to Anna & Joanna (with Gill & Hilary) – thanks for coming all! A great review in the Herts Advertiser too. Next year’s panto (Jack and the Beanstalk) already has two shows sold out!)


Four shows done now, eight to go. We have had great houses, and enthusiastic audiences have booed and cheered, sung along – and really enjoyed themselves. Despite a few technical difficulties (cloths and click tracks), and a few missed cues, the show is going very well.

Here’s a selection of audience comments:

Had such a lovely time at the panto today,by far the best one yet! Would Defo recommend Dick Whittington at Harpenden

Just been to see Dick Whittington at Harpenden Public Halls, Fantastic panto . Get your tickets, its well worth seeing…. Its on until 22nd December…

It was fab, kids loved it and lots of silly jokes to keep us amused! Go see

An excellent, thouroughly professional production

Nearly there

The set arrived from Prosceneium, the hire company we use – and it is enormous as advertised! There are bits of it we won’t be using, including an unfeasibly heavy ship’s wheel. We moved those bits to another area of the building!

Working our way through scene by scene, the crew built each of the sets and we checked them for what they looked like, lighting, entrances and exits, and so forth.

At 0030 (v late Tuesday night) we called it a day, but about four hours behind where we needed to be. We had only looked at he first half of the show. Back Wednesday morning to look at the second half’s sets……

Then to Tech. We ran a technical rehearsal of Act I, from prologue to interval. Some issues, which we will overcome….. But all in all an excellent tech. Even Peter (Purves – Blue Peter legend!) said how well he thought the Tech had gone. I lead a round of applause for the crew at the end. Thanks to sound, lighting, our md, but particularly the stage crew who lugged heavy scenery around – fab tech!

Tomorrow we tech Act II……!


Today we did two full runthroughs, one with each team of the Children’s Chorus. Both went well. We were accompanied by our wonderful Musical Director Steve Parker. In terms of show length, I’m very happy. In terms of performances, I’m even bappier! Of course there were issues – some lines not known, some cues missed, some entrances missed! But all in alll an excellent day, and two fab runthroughs.

Band call day

An excellent band call day. Steve Parker (MD/keys) has prepared some brilliant arrangements, which were played fantastically by he and Ian Killoran (reeds), Gareth Covey-Crump (bass), Les Arnold (drums, and Mark Drapeay (percussion). Colin and Barrie (sound) played in our click tracks, and once they’d sorted a few anomalies out, all was fab!

We were joined late afternoon by the cast to sing througb their numbers with the band.

All in all, a great band call! Thanks everyone!

Sunday 2nd Dec

A great rehearsal today – everyone was there, and we ran the show from start to finish – twice! It’s the first time we have gone from the prologue (with our lovely Fairy and our nasty Rat) through to the finale (walkdown), and it was good to see how everything fits together. Some “pace” issues, which will improve with more rehearsal, but otherwise looking and sounding good, especially considering the stage we are at!

After a spot of rehearsal, we set off for the Harpenden parade – walking behind the coach which Peter sat in, with the Mayor, sometimes running to keep up with the horses – and occasionally dragging behind distracted as Cerrie chatted to members of the crowd, and finding ourselves in the middle of a marching troupe!

The lights switch on was fun, although would have prepared more if we’d known we’d have had to fill for that long (!) – more tickets sold immediately afterwards, so publicity fab!

On the way back, a man asked Cerrie to sign his hand…….. hmm……..

Ernie Almond from 3Counties radio popped in to interview Peter and Cerrie and it was good to meet him, as he is an old panto hand, having done four at the Arena and over 20 at Harpenden (man y years ago!)……..

Also got to chat to Stuart Miles, who was  great. And was great to see Stuart Nurse again!
We ended the day with more rehearsal, and it’s getting there! Not long to go now!