Monday, 2 May 2011

After the End

Wow! We've been finished a week now and already the tour seems like a distant memory. I look back on it with mainly fond memories through my slightly rose tinted spectacles. As always, things seem much less beastly when we remember them. Of course, the tour wasn't beastly at all - much good craic and merriment took place.

I worked with some tremendous people who I know I will stay in contact with for the rest of my life. I guess you can tell how much fun was had from what has been written on this blog but I'd like to think it's also given an insight into just how tiring touring can be. Especially on a fragile weakling such as myself.

It has been good knowing you all. Although I'm sure even you have stopped reading this now all has ended. So I will say a final farewell now.

Good bye. Keep well. Speak soon x x

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

It's been a while, friends...

And a lot has happened. We have travelled many miles- from Worthing in Sussex all the way up to Scotland. The drive up started off well and much banter was had between Meg, Zac and myself in the less than comfortable van. Radio One blaring through the speaker system we ventured north and as I sat and contemplated my less than certain fate with a sleeping Meg drooling on my shoulder I felt happy. Then we hit Newcastle and it all went crap.

We got stuck behind a slow moving lorry, I needed a wee and then to top it all off 'The 7.00 Rave' began on Radio One. It got pretty hellish very quickly. Eventually we arrived at our digs just outside of St Andrews (I say eventually but by this time it was 11.30) and all was well again. The house was lovely and perfectly situated in the middle of the glorious scottish countryside right next to the sea. And the next day the sun was shining.

But we had another get in to think about. As get ins go and with only two staff helping out it all went very quickly and by 4.30 we were up and ready to go. The actoooors arrived and the show went up. And then we had the get out. Which again went very well. It seems like we often work better and faster when exhausted. When that pressure one experiences when visiting a venue is condensed into just one day sometimes it can take it all out of you. However, St Andrews is absloutely idyllic and we all spent Sunday exploring it's beautiful beaches, cafes, alleyways and ruins. Many pictures were taken and then we were once more in the van and on our way to Glasgow having only just secured digs there for the week. EEEK. And now we're here. Our final stop. Glasgow. The Citizens Theatre is great and as I write this to you we have a big audience in and I thin they're enjoying it. There is a sense of finality in the air with all of us(well obviously, Hubert)... You know what I mean. Everything seems a little easier now the end is well and truly in site.

Siobhan really is fantastic. It seems bizarre that I haven't mentioned this before but there you go. And it's not as if she told me to write this or anything... Adios amigos.

Friday, 15 April 2011

On route

Zac, Meg and I are on the way to St Andrews. This is the beginning of the end (as in the end of the tour not the end of our lives).

Although judging by Zac's driving, our lives are potentially at risk.

See you there!! Come and see the show in Scotland. It's GREEEEAAAATTT.

Monday, 11 April 2011


The Get-in at Bracknell. Just a normal day at work.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Somewhere in Essex

Did you know that The Palace Theatre in Southend has the steepest rake in the country? I did. And had been fearing it ever since Zac informed me in Aberdeen over a month a go.

Rakes are difficult. For those who do not know about them, here is a brief description: Raked stages are stages that slope upwards from the front to the back of the stage (downstage to upstage). It gives those in the auditorium a better view but makes things onstage that little more difficult. An actor who is further from the audience is essentially higher up than the actor nearer to the audience. This helps the issue of upstaging or blocking another actor and ensures that the audience is able to see every actor onstage no matter where they are situated. Most rake theatres have now been renovated however there are still many which have been left untouched. Raked stages are popular in opera productions. But not with me.

For us, it means a lot of slamming doors and sore heels as well as an already tired set bending ever so slightly in the direction of the audience. We have braces at the back of the set which are attached and weighted down to prevent too much bending. It's quite scary.

The stage here is also very small and so, like Loughborough, we have very limited space. This means things must be altered and everyone has to be extra vigilent as there is no space behind the set for crossing. This has to be done underneath the stage. Other than that, it's quite nice here and the theatre has a certain charm to it. Audiences haven't been too large but we've had some lovely feedback and kind words. Alastair and Daragh hosted a lunch in the foyer today where people asked questions to them over a bite to eat. Part of me wished I had been there but I was busy ironing and re-setting for the matinee. Trust the nicest day of the year to fall on the day when we have two shows and a get out! It's beastly.

And what's more us stage management ones have the long drive to Yeovil to look forward to after the get out here for a get in tomorrow morning. It's mental. Zac will be exhausted as will we all. The break that's coming up is gonna be extremely welcome after the week we will have had.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mother's Day guilt after Durham

And so Durham comes to an end. Durham went smoothly and was incredibly good to us and so, inevitably, it has gone by in a flash. We had some fantastic audiences and some great nights out but now we move back down south to Southend and then on to Yeovil later next week.

We had had a few days off after Buxton which helped us and made the get in and first show at Durham a little bit easier. It's always nice to catch your breath whilst on tour even if it is only for a few days. You learn to cherish the breaks you have however small they are- the touring lifestyle can be hectic and never ending especially when tiredness sets in. Thankfully, the Gala Theatre in Durham could not have been more helpful and welcoming to us all- in particular Craig and Longy (spelling is perhaps wrong with the latter) who came out for a drink with us on Friday night as well. They were particularly good at winding Meg up which is why I enjoyed their company so much but they were also incredibly efficient and professional. It made our time in Durham very enjoyable. on the Friday afternoon Alastair gave some long overdue notes which I think really gave everyone something to work on. After our long stint on the road it gave everyone a massive boost and turned the show into something quite different. Mairead came off stage towards the end of the first act buzzing and muttering something positive about 'pace' and 'fire'. She seemed over the moon with how things were going on stage and I think that can be said for everyone. It's nice to know that although we've had a long and at times stressful tour, what's happening on stage is still fresh and exciting.

Yet again, I write this from Zac's home where his family seemed to have taken me under their wing. I feel particularly guilty that I am here on Mother's Day especially when the gifts and cards that Tracey received today from Zac and the boys massively eclipsed my feeble card that I sent to my Mum. Sam seems to have given his Mum THE biggest card and teddy bear in the world. So I feel like a bad son right now...

So tonight Zac and myself venture down south now our time up North has come to a close. Of course, Scotland is fast approaching but for the north of England, it's goodbye from Dancing at Lughnasa. The audiences up here are second to none. They are responsive, loud and love a good laugh. We hope they have enjoyed the show.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011


Whilst in Eastbourne, Paul, Victoria, Meg and I went on a trip to visit The Long Man. It was a lovely trip. And here it is for you to see: