Always find it hard coming back for the Boxing Day shows.
Just getting changed for finale of first show; the audience has been great, which has helped.
Mind you, I mustn't complain, this year has been one of the best schedules I've ever had - opened on the 14th with five shows to settle in, then two days off. Yes, TWO! Back for a week of 11 shows up to Christmas, followed by another week of 11 up to New Year's Eve, then back on 2nd January for the 10 last shows. Also from 22nd December the shows have been at 1.00 and 5.00, so we're finished by half seven, and as I'm commuting from home most days, that means I get home just after 9.00 and don't have to leave in the morning till around 10.45.
Looking forward to Secret Santo and Panto Picnic onstage between shows.
Well, it's the last of our 10.30 shows to 1000 screaming kids this morning. Always nice to get them out of the way and settle into the run, although I must say they've gone really well this year - kids have been great - enthusiastic, loud but still following the story. The last long gap between shows today as well (second show at 7.00) so a chance to send out the last of my Christmas cards (which will now be New Year cards) and catch up on some last minute shopping.
So from tomorrow it's shows at 1.00 and 5.00 till Jan 6th with Christmas Day and New Year's Day off. Tell a lie, just one show on Christmas and New Year's Eve at 1.00, so home nice and early this year.
The show's going really well, and the one big surprise is that I'm really enjoying the final dance number - some nights I nearly get all the steps right, and I'm sure I'll eventually get them in the right order too. I was sad that there was no time for a song to close my opening spot (a rewritten version of George Formby's "Auntie Maggie), which never made it out of the rehearsal room, and inevitably there were other cuts that had to be made after the first shows to bring the running time down. This meant my song with Snow White also went, which was a shame - it was a sweet little number, quite touching, and I loved performing it with Jenny (Jones). I must point out here, that it wasn't just my songs that got cut!
The audience response to the show has been fantastic and we've had some lovely comments on Twitter; I'll post reviews on the blog as they come in.
I won't post The Stage review (by their education editor) in full, because I'm still quite upset by some of the comments she made. And she got my name wrong. Fair enough, she said I was a competent Dame (I've had better) but didn't like any of our comedy bits. Heigh ho. Or should that be Hi Ho - she liked the Dwarfs. I still haven't really learnt how to handle dodgy reviews - I haven't had that many, honest - and however much I tell myself it's only one person's opinion, it's still out there for everyone to see. Anyway, come and see the show and judge for yourself - if you like it as much as our audiences have done so far, then perhaps you could write to The Stage and tell their reviewer what you think. I'd love to, but I don't think it would be a good idea. I'd never work again.
Here's the edited Stage review, which is worth seeing for the lovely comments about our Snow White, Jenny Jones, The Magnificent Seven, and our dashing young Prince, Toby-Alexander Smith; he's in his final year at Arts Ed and this is only his second panto. He is definitely one to look out for in the future ( The Stage reviewer got that right, at least)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Published Thursday 20 December 2012 by Susan Elkin
This lively show gives us the dishiest prince I’ve seen so far this year in Toby-Alexander Smith. He has commanding height, a magnificent singing voice and can manage comedy - in, for example, the usual silly version of Twelve Days of Christmas. You can, for once, really see why Snow White (Jenny Jones) falls for him. Smith is still a student at Arts Ed London - one to look out for. Jones’ singing and acting is high quality too and she’s a fine dancer. The show uses several of the original Disney songs, mostly sung to the manner born by Jones. The pair work pleasingly together too.
It is always a pleasure to see dwarf actors in work and this entertaining crew, led by Josh Bennett, hop about, make eyes at Snow White and laugh at themselves engagingly.