Here we catch up with a few members from our team on how Rehearsals have been going ahead of opening night THIS FRIDAY!!!
Dan Fulham : MUSICAL DIRECTOR:
“Christmas time… a time to relax and chill right? Well… as the clocks go back, the nights draw in and the weather takes a turn for the worst, you want nothing more that to cuddle up in front of that picturesque fireplace with a hot chocolate and a film. But there’s no time for that, we’ve been busy in panto preparation mode since the Summer. We had our first creative meeting about music back in July! We start with a brainstorm, a creative ideas session – what music will work, what will it sound like? What songs are popular this year? What retro classics can we pull out? What new and exciting ideas can we bring to the table? Then it’s my job to go away, and create amazing arrangements of the popular songs ready for the rehearsals to begin.
3 weekends ago I met the cast for the first time (although some of the are old favourites now, isn’t that right JJ?) and it was such an exciting and productive rehearsal! We had an amazing start, introducing all of our cast to their main songs, working on learning them and incorporating them into their character’s journey. Our super special finale number certainly got the cast going, and hearing them get excited and wanting to jump up and perform the song is an AMAZING feeling – just wait until you hear it!
The love ballads were flowing beautifully, the comedy number with wittily re-written lyrics was as tricky as ever to get your teeth into and the chorus numbers were blowing the roof off (after a little bit of coaxing and polishing!), but this is just the start! To keep the show exciting, to colour it, to really add some wow, there is over 30 minutes of underscoring to be written, comedy play-ons, character jingles, nasty evil stings and magical fairy spells. Imagine watching your favourite film on mute – BORING! This is where I have to go into overdrive, with only three weeks to the show I am in full-time panto music making mode… humming magical melodies, dum-dum-dumming evil motifs, and tapping out drum beats with whatever I can get my hands on… All so I can get all of this musical madness down onto the page in time to share it with my cast and create the magical world of Dick Whittington in time for our eager audiences.”
Emily Jones – 1 of 2 DANCE CAPTAIN on the Production:
“Sharper, bigger, cleaner… and again! Just some of the words that will be repeatedly echoed in each rehearsal for this year’s Dick Whittington Pantomime. As dance captain it is my responsibility to make sure that each dancer knows the choreography and does it in exactly the same way which doesn’t seem like that much of a task but when you have to learn and perfect 8 routines in four weeks it can be a challenge.
The dancing in the year’s show is definitely of a higher standard than ever before! You can usually expect a dance break at the end of the performance but this year you can expect several, these will not only be performed by the dancers but also by the main cast. This year every single cast member is getting down to the groove of this year’s beats as we all show off our dance skills, in keeping with the recent trend of Strictly Come Dancing we are showing off our own plies, pirouettes and pointed toes in a number of high energy, current production numbers. The main cast do a LOT of dancing this year which I think is fantastic because it shows just how talented our cast are but also makes the audience appreciate how difficult and demanding it is to be a triple threat performer.
(For those of you who were wondering a triple threat performer is someone who can sing, dance and act to a high standard, or even better.. do it all at the same time!)
Luckily this year we have such wonderful accommodation at each venue so that we can switch off and relax in between shows. Some of you may be surprised to hear that this doesn’t really happen until a week into our run… even after our opening night we still rehearse and line run, there is always room for improvement. So our opening night will end with a late night rehearsal back at The Ivy Bush Hotel. This will be a last minute clean up call of all dancers, any lines that didn’t land with the audience or even any set changes that weren’t efficient enough!
This year is all singing and all dancing and not just for the cast! This year the cast are not the only ones who will be on their feet as this year’s audience will also be getting their jig on to our amazing song sheet which repeats throughout the show. Last year Jermin Productions brought you the minions (DID SOMEONE SAY MINIONS?) but this year will see a brand new SAMBA which is guaranteed to get you shaking your hips and waving your arms. (and who knows you may also go crazy and add a shimmy)!
We are really looking forward to welcoming you to the Pantomime celebrations this December, Be sure to bring your dancing shoes and your shimmee’ing shoulders for a performance jam packed with laughter, magic and everything you love about a traditional, Christmas Pantomime!