One day more…

Well – we’re nearly there!!

Tomorrow is the last day in the UK for the Azura cast for some time, as we fly out to Monfalcone Shipyard   in the morning of Thursday 18th March, and won’t be back until the beginning of April.

We finished up our London rehearsals on Saturday with a bit of revision of the shows we have learned so far. It was tough week last week, as we needed to prepare a ‘show off’ of Hitsville USA, When Swing was King and also Destination Dance with a new number included (watch out for flying flags… that’s all I’ll say!)

So it was a fairly frazzled cast that said ‘Cheerio‘ to Alford House on Saturday evening, headed home and will be meeting up again at Heathrow at 9.00am on Thursday morning for our flights over to Europe … “Do not pass go; Do not collect £200; Do not enter the Duty Free”!! 🙂

So the next instalment should be from somewhere in Italy – watch this space!

Rehearsals Day 57 – Ain’t no mountain high enough…

Phew what a long day! Good, but tough… there’s a touch of the “lurgy” floating around, so all the numbers are interspersed with the odd cough and splutter! Hey ho… get it all out of the way now 🙂

It’s hard to believe that we are in our final week of rehearsals in London (it’s arrived AT LAST!) It seems like a lifetime ago that we all arrived on the 4th Jan, nervously introducing ourselves in the green room at Alford House on our first day. All old friends now… nice 🙂
Yesterday saw us revising our swing show – “When Swing Was King“, and also the Motown singers’ show “Hitsville USA“. Talk about a lifetime ago – until last weekend we hadn’t visited Hitsville since January, so we needed some fairly hefty “reminding”, I can tell you. No worries though, as we have spent the bulk of today working through the show and polishing it up. Also, we’ve been working in a more precise space which matches that which we’ll be working on onboard. Hitsville is the show that we will be performing more as a lounge show, and not in the Playhouse Theatre, so it’s more intimate. It will be great doing this kind of show in that setting – it just means we mustn’t get TOO carried away with big dance moves!
The dancers had spent all day working on our Boogie show (“Blame it on the Boogie“) and “Destination Dance“, as we’ll be performing these later in the week. And then – bless them – Jerry our Choreographer brought them all downstairs to watch our run of Hitsville to give us an audience… Awww!
So – we are ploughing headlong into our final few days of rehearsals on land. A little sign that we’re almost there appeared yesterday as well, with the arrival of our Seaman’s Discharge books… get us, all official! No stopping us… roll on Thursday 18th March – Azura here we come 🙂

Rehearsals Day 46 – The Final Countdown…

We’re sliding headlong towards our departure for Venice – and it is coming up rapidly!! We have under 3 weeks left rehearsing in the UK now, and there’s still plenty to do.

(Live from rehearsals as I type – the guys flapping their feathers in a number from “Curtain Up!”)

We managed to get through a whole show last week – which means we’ve put “When Swing Was King” to bed already. It’s a great show with loads of hits from that “Rat Pack” period, and lots of stuff I would never have thought would be in a swing show, but with some great arrangements the unusual numbers sound and look fab.

We started this week with the penultimate show that we’ll be learning here in London, which is “Curtain Up!” – out musical theatre show (a little cheer goes up!). It covers the gamut of material from the 1950s classics, such as West Side Story and Guys & Dolls, and comes more up to date with the likes of Miss Saigon & Phantom.

Having a sneaky peek at some of the costume designs, there are going to be some stunning pieces in this show. Can’t wait to try them on!

Rehearsals Day 35 – How lucky can one boy be?

We ploughed headlong into our new show yesterday – so another gear change!

(Scott, George, Daniel & Emma blow off some steam on the Table Football before the show-off)

We finished off some cleaning on ‘Blame It On The Boogie’ before showing it off to the assembled masses. It’s quite a fast-paced show, so I think everyone was fairly knackered by the end of the run… hey ho, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!!

Yesterday saw the start of ‘When Swing Was King’ – our next show which is – yep, you guessed it! – a Swing show 🙂 Jerry is choreographing us for this one, so it was nice to see him back again – as our first week spent with him working on ‘Hitsville USA’ seems like a lifetime ago now. (That reminds me – we haven’t finished learning that one yet!)

(It’s a cold day – you can tell by the queue for the coffee machine! Charles, Neil & Sara looking rather sheepish if you ask me…)

This one is packed full of all the classic swing / Rat Pack songs that you’d expect and a few surprises too – some great arrangements of songs you wouldn’t expect in a swing show. Don’t worry – you’ll be pleasantly surprised… trust me!

It looks like it will be a very classy evening (well, what else did you expect!) and it’ll be really cool having the band on stage with us for this show too. A big benefit of having quite a few different shows to present is that there’s a good variety. A real Smörgåsbord (and yes – I did have to Google the spelling!!) of styles and content so there’s something for everyone. Crikey – sounds like marketing pitch…!