Final Bow…

So there we have it – 10.15pm on Saturday the 18th February and it’s all over.

It’s been a great tour, and I can pretty much say I’ve loved (nearly!) every minute of it 😉 I’ve made some great friends in the cast, and considering we were on tour, I think we all managed to get along very well. It’s never easy when you are away from home and “stuck” with the same people all the time, but I think we survived without too many casualties.

Obviously, it was hard to say goodbye to “Lady Terry” – the adopted name of my wig… brought about because people thought it made me look a little like Terry Wogan. And clearly the wig had to be female, and as Terry has just been honoured in the New Years Honours, we thought Lady Terry was fitting. Robyn tried, but she knew her wig couldn’t compete with mine!

The venues each presented the individual challenges and rewards. Southampton was a great way to start the tour, and we had such an amazing response it really set us up for the remaining 12 weeks. The Alex in Birmingham was, well, a little on the small side for the production – so we had to cut some pieces of set and props, and also that gave us our first taste of the mini-me Christmas Tree!

The long stint in Bristol over Christmas and New Year (7 weeks in total) was very ‘settled’ – and had less of a feel of touring, but rather of being ‘resident’ somewhere. There were a couple of people off whilst we were there for various reasons, so gave the a couple of the understudies a chance to get on, and also added some excitement!! Oxford was a little odd to be honest. We didn’t seem to get a very good response, and again the theatre was a little smaller, so we had some adjustments to make – but it was good to be close enough to London to get home if needed.

And then finally Liverpool at the Empire theatre. It was my first visit to the City, and I enjoyed being there. The theatre is huge, which is great for the production, but not so good when you have to walk up 5 flights of stairs to get to your dressing room after the show!! Still – it’s all good exercise I guess. But being there did give me the chance to get on the “Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey” – and yes, they DO play it…

And now it’s back to London and to see what else is coming up over the next few months. I will miss the cast and the stage management team from Scrooge as we’ve had a great time, but I am looking forward to being back home; working with the WestEnders some more; seeing friends and family and all the other things you get used to when you’re not touring.

And anyway – I’m pretty sure that Scrooge will be making an appearance again next Christmas. Bah Humbug!

Stopping, Starting & Finishing in Liverpool…

We are now into our final stretch of the tour, and our final venue – the Empire Theatre in Liverpool. It was great to be in Oxford as we were within “reach” of London, and we are much further away from home now (which is of particular interest to those in the cast who are desperately trying to organise travelling back and forth for auditions!) but it feels like a good place to play out the end of the tour.

We certainly have more room here than at some other venues, as the theatre is vast, both front of house and backstage. Plenty of dressing rooms to go round, lots of space backstage for all the props ans scenery – but also the chance of lots of empty seats on a mid-week matinee!!

So it’s the last venue – hence the “Finishing”… but why “Stopping, Starting”??

Well – as luck would have it, Liverpool has been the only venue where we have had to stop the show for any reason – and it’s already happened twice!! On our opening night, the Sound Desk crashed and needed to be re-booted, which held the show up for about 5 mins. And yesterday, at the opening of Act II the tabs (or curtains) wouldn’t fly out, so the Orchestra had played our entrance music – and the stage was still behind the curtains. A small amount of ‘jiggling’ by the stage crew and flymen managed to loosen the obstruction and we were able to start again to a friendly applause from the audience. They do say bad things come in 3’s, so maybe we still have something round the corner?!?

Plans are afoot for the “Last Night Party”, and people are starting to think about “what’s next”. At the time of writing we only have 13 more performances to do – doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun!