Saturday, 24 December 2011

Well Pantonians

That's it until after xmas now.  Shows have been great and audiences have been great too and a special mention to Isabel who came on stage last night and made Martyn nearly wee himself laughing.  She was so excited to be on stage and was just great.  Anyway this will be a short one as I am going out for a well earned glass of sparkle and a lovely meal too with some of the cast and my parents.  

Whatever you do tomorrow may you feel love and joy.

Dame Desdemona Doubletop as the spirit of Christmas Present.  VODKA!!! 
You look well shifty in this Luffer.  Where are you going with that bench?

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Another day another 2 shows done.  It went really quickly today and was most enjoyable.  The horse was named Bullseye again this afternoon and then Snowflake tonight which I thought was nice and seasonal.  Martyn had a very flirty punter tonight called Adrian and there was much shenanigans between the 2 of them.  At one point I swear I saw him blush!!  Even through the make-up.  We have some lovely children who come and join us each show also and they are usually quite entertaining to boot.  Especially when asked what they want for Xmas and they say something neither myself nor Martyn has any idea about.  Tonight it was a finger scooter but I did know what it was as I had been instructed to buy one but everywhere is sold out!!  I may have to get on eBay.  

Below are a couple more photos for you and hope to see you at the Theatre soon if you have not been already.  Also check out our fab review on Whatsonstage at this address  

Well it's time to put my feet up and have a well earned rest. TTFN

Come on Bullseye!! 
Our fabulous dancing boys Adam and Ross

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

2 more shows bit the dust today and they could not have been more different really.  There was a slightly subdued crowd in this afternoon and a raucous up for it bunch in this evening.  I think panto is one of those styles of theatre that very much feeds off an audiences energy and vice versa.  Many tiny slips of the tongue and delayed brain moments from the cast tonight made for an even more riotous evening.  I must just thank our wonderful Eastbourne audiences as it really is an absolute pleasure performing to such a knowledgeable crowd.  Radio interview was good so listen out for that on Uckfield FM.  

Short and sweet tonight I am afraid as have to get up early tomorrow to get to Waitrose to try and beat the Xmas shopping madness. Her are a few more photos.  TTFN

Morning Pantonians.

Another 2 excellent shows on Sunday finished off a 5 show weekend and nearly finished me off too.  Very tired I was but thankfully had a nice day off yesterday and braved the awful weather to meet friends in Brighton for lunch and then a spot of Xmas shopping.  I might as well have done the show as I was soaked at the end of the day anyway!!!! 

 I have a radio interview today with Martyn Knight for Uckfield FM.  I will of course let you know if anything interesting happens during that.  Scary sore throat is raising it's head this morning but can't let it get me as have 10 shows to get through between now and Saturday night when I will collapse into a heap and not resurface until Boxing day.  I will go gargle in a bit that usually helps.  We really do have to just keep going when not feeling 100 percent as there is no back up or understudies.  Anyway not really feeling ill as such just an annoying cough.  Martyn and I swear by our daily vitamin boost and echinacea too.  It helps to keep your immune system up.  Right must dash and bathe and feed and then walk dog and then it will be time to head to the theatre.  Where does the time go??  TTFN  Oh! Here are some back stage pics of us as we prepare to go on stage thanks to our fabulous stage door man Mick Root.

Look out mum he's behind you

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy!  Just finished our first super Saturday as I call it.  3 shows in a day.  It was actually really enjoyable due to the fantastic audiences we had which made it go very quickly.  If you were in the audience today then thank you very much for making my job even more fun than normal.  We started off with an 11 o'clock kick off and finished with a 7pm with a 2.30 sandwiched in the middle.   It is such a quick turn around between the shows not only for the performers but mainly for our fantastic stage crew who have quite a lot to do drying the stage and re setting in very little time.  Hats off to you wonderful guys and gals in black.  The ninjas of Devonshire Park they are.  Also a big thanks to Shelley and Sam in wardrobe for getting all our costumes dry and washed on a day like today.  You are both amazing.  We had some interesting names for our friendly neighbourhood horse today with Petunia and Bob being my favourites.  My overall favourite is definitely Bullseye.  Have no clue what I am talking about?  Well then get yourself down to the theatre and you will in good time.

Right I really must go to bed as have two more shows tomorrow.  Maybe see you there.  Here are a couple more photos for your delectation.  TTFN

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Well pantonians another two fantastically received shows are ticked off from yesterday.  The show goes so quickly for me as I barely have a moment of rest.  Don't get me wrong I am not complaining I absolutely love it.  I must just give a very special mention to the fantastic front of house team at the Devonshire Park.  They are all amazing and do a fabulous job out there in the dark recesses  of the upper and dress circles.  Especially in between shows when they are busy clearing up all the empty sweet packets and ice cream cartons.

 The show seems to be bedding in quite nicely now and Martyn and I are starting to find our little moments of improvising around the script when things are not as they are supposed to be. So come along and check it out as I promise you will see a unique performance!  2 more shows today and a bit of a party afterwards too.  What a privileged life I lead.  TTFN 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Yesterday's shows were fabulous.  In the afternoon we had mainly schools parties which were just lovely especially when they sang along to The Lazy Song with me at the beginning of Act II.  Also they were totally committed to the shouting out of course.  Then in the evening it was a more adult audience and our official press night (be gentle with us) and also we had the Friends of Devonshire Park Theatre in who know what to expect and yet still laugh uproariously.  The friends also very kindly laid on some food and drink after the show. The show is starting to bed in now and I am having the time of my life.  If you liked the show then please spread the word as I really think this year we have excelled ourselves.  Well Have to dash as have to go and do show number 2 for today.  TTFN(TA TA FOR NOW!!)

Martyn and Adam horsing around!!

Time for Bed. No it's time to start Act II 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Apologies for not posting on Sunday night but was absolutely shattered after an extremely long week.  Sunday nights show was particularly hilarious as James Luff or Luffer to his friends took a cue in the haunted bedroom scene a little too early and of course this led to much improvised hilarity between Martyn Knight and myself.  I really love it when things go slightly awry as I get to switch into naughty Carl mode and really send people up.  It is also such a rare thing to find a fellow performer who you trust implicitly in these situations and for me that is Martyn. Anyway I have to shoot for now as have another 2 shows today.  TTFN

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Hooray we are open to the public.  Last night was one of the best openings I have had in panto.  Amazingly talented cast who are all lovely.  I know I am sorry but no gossip about actors tantrums I'm afraid.  There were a few hair raising moments but nothing major.  This will be a short one as have 2 more shows today.  Here are a couple of sneaky photos from stage wings and some shots of the props which you can't do panto without.  Thanks to Adam M and the gang for making them and making sure we go on with the right ones!!

This may need looking after by you all pantonians.

We've got a lovely bunch of coconuts! OOER!!!

Thursday, 8 December 2011

WOW.  That was a another mammoth day in the theatre putting the finishing touches to Robin Hood the Pantomime before our first audience assembles tomorrow night. Her are some pictures of our amazing band with Aunty Sarah at the helm.  She runs a very tight ship you know!!

Lots of good work was indeed done today and I think we may just be ready in time for the first show although it will be seat of the pants stuff come 7pm tomorrow.  I am very much looking forward to getting an audience in as is Martyn as so much of what we do relies heavily on getting a reaction from our wonderful Eastbourne punters. 

I took this picture of my amazing partner in crime Mr Knight whilst he heaved on the make up with a couple of heavy duty trowels and a cement mixer.  This is just the finishing touches to his fizzog.

Well Pantonians I will see you on the green as they say.  Which is fittingly apt for this sylvan story of ours.  TTFN

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Good (insert relevant time of day here) Pantonians.  

Well my day started with a walk along the sea front with my gorgeous dog and this amazing sky greeted us as we approached. 

 It was another incredibly full day at The Devonshire Park Theatre frantically trying to reach the finishing post that is the end of technical rehearsals.  As I think I have mentioned before, this production of Robin Hood is really ambitious in the amount we try to cram in and the time we have to make it all gel together into the well oiled creation you witness.  

Here is Aunty Sarah with our fantastic juvenile dancers doing some last minute harmony practice.

And here are some of the cast lounging in the stalls whilst we pause until a certain lighting state is fixed or more likely until Paul D and his band of MIB's (that is Men In Black) (although it is actually MAWIB's as in men and women in black but that didn't seem quite so funny!!) Come back from a well earned tea break.  Earl Grey and digestives are all the rage in the crew room I hear.  

And I was wandering around backstage and caught a glimpse of a truly legendary icon of the theatre.  Yes that's right here is a snap of the one and only Dame Vera Vague.  We bow down to your greatness.  

Who knows what stars we may come across tomorrow?  Good night all. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Well here we are finally in the theatre pantonians.  The most exciting bit.  It really is a beautiful moment of theatre when the band and the costumes and the lighting and sound and scenery and technical crew and the performers suddenly come together to form the basis for a show.  It is also a little knee knockingly scary too when you realise you only have three days until you have to do all the things you do in front of an audience!!!!

Ah! the concentration demanded to learn 20 songs in two hours!!!! 

Don't worry Tracy hasn't got gangrene she just has long  boots on!!

I have some pictures of our first moments in the theatre but sadly they wont download so they will hopefully follow tomorrow.   I have some lovely photos of rehearsals though kindly provided by our gorgeous princess Francesca.  So here they are.  Enjoy. Sorry there is not more witty stuff here but the 12 hour days are catching up with me. 

Friday, 2 December 2011

Well That was a really long day.  We are starting to see the show take shape now.  All the elements of dance, singing and comedy etc are coming together.  If only they would stay in my head!!!  Only one picture today sadly as I was so busy. Anyway here it is.

The three not so wise monkeys desperately trying to learn lines and the order of things.  Good luck fellas! You're gonna need it!!! TTFA

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Well Pantonians we have reached the end of day three of rehearsals and it does somehow seem like we have been at it a lot longer than that.  I can reveal that today in rehearsals there were unfortunately a few spats occurred!!   But don't worry it was all in the name of giving you one of the most exciting pantos you will ever have seen.  Here are a couple of sneaky vids to wet your whistle with.

That Fella in the pink leggings is a bit fierce I wouldn't cross him!

And meanwhile in another part of the room an evil old temptress (now I know what you are thinking but Martyn Knight and his alter egos were nowhere to be found)  was tricking an innocent princess type into following her into the forest.  Well actually Francesca and Karen were rehearsing a scene.  I get a bit carried away sometimes and think it's all real.  Mind you come next Friday it will all be oh so real.

And finally a shot of our illustrious lord and master Mr Chris Jordan imparting some of his wise words to an actor struggling there way through a scene.  "Ok Dame Vera can we do that again only this time be better!!!"  TTFN

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Well another day, another few scenes blocked and many a tune tuned.  Aunty Sarah was particularly hard worked today trying to teach us all the big production numbers (and there are many) and especially one particular number which has about 723 key changes in it!!  Never fear we will get through it together!  Anyway it was still amazing fun and something I love doing especially all the intricate harmonies.  Some are more harmonic than others especially our monica.   Also often we are blocking scenes in one part of the complex and Sam our fabulous choreographer is drilling the dancers in another.  Check out this little video clip. 

 Also at the end of the day I came across Will and Victoria hoiking a large part of the set (see pic Below)  Check back tomorrow pantonians for more sneak pics and vids and hopefully more witty banter than I can at present manage.  TTFN

Ah!  The colour black what would the technical crews fashion advisors do without it!!
Victoria I can't
 get this door open.  Yes Will that is because it is painted on.  

Monday, 28 November 2011

One of the chuckle brothers takes time out from their busy schedule to help with the set.  To me, to you, to me, to you.  Oh never mind.  Dave!!! Put the kettle on.
Oh! What a Beautiful Morning Oh! what a beautiful Day I've got a fabulous feeling panto is coming your way.

The amazing making machine that is our wonderful seamstresses.   They can sew a seam but they never stresses.

Eventually This material will be the costumes you see on stage.  I think the red may be a bit of mine.

Pantonians!!  It has begun.  The first day of rehearsals arrived and 9 hours later it has finished.  My day started with the most beautiful streaming sunlight over the sea and ended with a chance encounter with the amazing Mr Paul Debreczany And lo and behold he was actually doing some heavy lifting.  Others heed his mastery of the flat carrying.  That's not a flat like what folk live in but a piece of scenery.  Anyway it was a really good day in the rehearsal room with a complete script for the first time which was great.  It was nice to find out how the pantomime ended and let me tell you it is gonna be a super smashing great finale.  I think you will be Proud of the Mary men and all others too of course.  We sang through the final number with Aunty Sarah and let me just say she is a wonderful replacement for Uncle Rob who is off helping the unfortunate financial situation in Grease apparently.  Although I did here tell he was off on the crusades making himself useful as a battering ram!!!  Anyway it has been a long old day and a few more to come this week so I am off to partake of some sustenance and perhaps a glass or two of the local waters.  BFN 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Well just a few hours until we commence rehearsals for Robin Hood and already preparations have begun at the theatre for the set to go in. That's my special light in the centre I think.  Here are a few sneaky peaks of the theatre and of the wonderful crew doing what they do best.  Yes that's right folks drinking tea!!!  Do some work we only have 12 days until we open.  Oh no I have said it out load.  I feel a bit queazy pass the bucket.  (Suddenly I am reminded of Beauty and the Beast)  More to follow tomorrow  of our first day actually trying to get this Robin Hood on it's feet and running.  BFN

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Dearest Pantonians

One week from now I will be tucked up in my little flat in Eastbourne probably awaiting the results of Saturday nights X Factor (get rid of Janet she is so boring!!) and also being even more excited than I already am at the prospect of starting rehearsals and meeting the rest of the cast over a custard cream and a bourbon the next day.  Hurry up time!!  Not that I am wishing my life away but just can't wait to get started.  Oh and just to reiterate any one seen my script? Chris? Anyone? One week to go and still no sign of it.  It is proving more elusive than Rainbow coloured paint and Unicorn tears!!! 

Check back soon.  Oh! and do feel free to comment as it will make me feel less like I am talking to myself in the cyber space. xx

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Hello Pantonians

Pantonians a new word I just made up (a bit like the script for the panto) and I think this more than sums up those who each year round the festive season head to their local theatre for a dose of music, dancing and mayhem.  This year at the finest panto in all the land, namely EASTBOURNE, we are performing Robin Hood.  Not a familiar title to some but packed full of all the usual brilliant and entertaining stuff which year on year packs in the fantastic punters or as I like to name them now Pantonians.

I am so excited to be back performing in Eastbourne this year which will be my 5th year.  Anyway I bring news of exciting things and despite the recession a whole host of visually stunning set-pieces this year.  

We start rehearsals on November 28th but this Tuesday Martyn Knight and myself went out to Hailsham and mounted our respective steeds for a bit of comedy filming, which will of course feature in the show at various points. What may not feature is the look of sheer panic on Martyn's face when it was revealed he would be riding the ex racehorse called Wally and it was suggested he did not point Wally towards anything vaguely fence-like or he may mistake it for Beeches Brook and bolt in it's general direction.  Thanks to the wonderful Holly who was there to help we avoided any traumas.  

I was riding a slightly smaller mount called Milly who was an absolute star.  During one of the shots a decidedly dodgy looking fellow dressed like a traffic warden walked into shot and had to be forcibly removed despite his protestations "did we know who he was" and "he would get his revenge for this outrageous behaviour"  said his name was Jordan or something!!  Anyhoo I have posted a couple of photos for your delectation.  This is just a little teaser of what is to come in OMG it's only 4 weeks until we open!!  Ah! Better trot off and get learning my script.  Chris, have you seen my script?  Anyone? A script? No?  All right then I'll just have to make it up as I go along!  Nothing new there then.  See you all in a few weeks and check back during rehearsals for more updates on how things are going. 


Carl Patrick 

Martyn looking nice and relaxed before we enter the stables and discover which horse we are riding.

Martyn looking a little tense in the mouth as he is introduced to Wally.

Martyn giving Wally a mint to try and bond with him and gain his trust.

Me and Milly.  Yes those are tights but I only ever wear them on Tuesdays and at xmas!!