#unit 21 and stormy weather, 13th to 19th February

An early Sunday lunch was enjoyed before we got in the car to drive over to Huddersfield. This visit I’d be staying four nights so being nearer to the theatre would be good so I booked into the Premier Inn at Apsley Basin. This not only meant I’d be able to pop into Sainsburys on my way to and from work but I’d also get to see boats every day.

Boats and us!

My chauffer stayed or a cuppa before heading back to Scarborough.

Valentines cards

Monday morning and I found a couple of cards in one of my bags. Somehow the postman had delivered a small box of chocolates and cards to me which I opened whilst waiting for my lateral flow test to to do its thing.

Then it was time to head on up to the theatre to wait for the set to arrive on the back of Grahams trailer. The last time Graham and I worked together was also on a Dark Horse Theatre production, seven years ago, Snakebite. There was a time where I saw more of Graham than I did of Mick! Once the set was in the building Graham and I started to bolt the sections together whilst Penny (the Stage Manager/Lighting Designer) started to rig the lights and soft black masking.

By lunchtime the floor was laid, the flats were in position. Graham had rigged the lift door mechanism and then explained it to me. The warmth of the building had helped by tightening up the fabric the set had been covered in. Ripstock doesn’t like the cold and even just a few degrees can mean a baggy set.

After lunch I proceeded to stick green neon gaffa tape onto the set whilst the sound was sorted for the show. Penny followed on with focusing the lights. Down in the dressing rooms I sewed names into costumes and adulting badges were added to the front of the overalls.

Tuesday, Penny plotted the lights, sound and computer animation whilst I hunted round every clothes shop in Huddersfield for a vest top which I hoped would cover up a pink sports bra. I returned with a few choices and later in the day one of them did the job.

After lunch we were joined by the actors to do a technical rehearsal. Making sure the actors knew where to stand in light, where to stand out of view. Making sure the sound levels were suitable and that the lighting states did the job whilst not overpowering the animation on the set.

This normally would be done in full costume, but we saved that for a tech run later in the afternoon. After work I treated myself to a hot meal next door at Table Table, there are only so many wraps you can eat in a week!

Hair and make up

Wednesday started with a full dress rehearsal. Make up and hair were added into the equation. With three of the Dark Horse staff members on hand to do space buns I managed to avoid having to lend a hand.

An audience and Penny with all her screens

Two shows today. The first with quite a large audience. A local learning disabled school along with representatives from theatres the show may tour to next year. Then in the evening we had an audience of friends and family.

The shows were development showings, half the show with full production values. Although if Dark Horse manage to get more funding for the show next year then we will add neon lights into the set rather than having to rely on neon tape.

Both shows went down well and I got chance to have a catch up with the Assistant Producer from the SJT in Scarborough.

Subdued crochet compared to my socks

Normally on Panto Postcards I do a tally of how many hours I’ve worked. Well with most of the work having been done in advance the days were short. Monday and Tuesday starting at 9am and finishing at 6pm, I was glad I’d taken some crochet along with me as there was quite a gap between shows.

All gone!

Then once the final audience member had left the auditorium it was time to take everything down. This took all of 35 minutes. The original plan had been to ferry all the set over to the rehearsal space, but because of Storm Dudley it was decided to take it to the office instead. Better that people didn’t fly away.

A couple of drinks in the pub next door to wind down was followed by some chips which I managed to eat all of on the way back to my hotel. The second photo is of an empty box overlooking the canal basin whilst Dudley did it’s worst, nothing to do with the wine I’d drunk!

Thursday morning Mick arrived to pick me up. It was time to celebrate Christmas with the London Leckenbys. The four hour drive wasn’t too bad as the worst effects of the storm had passed. A pizza followed by some chilled medication was enjoyed at Wells Street Pizza in Hackney.

Friday we managed to avoid the worst effects of the fresh air Storm Eustice was blowing around. Jac and Josh headed off to do a bit of shopping and get a hair cut at Bermondsey Market, but neither Mick or I fancied sitting on a double decker bus at the height of the storm. Instead we got to watch the womens curling instead.

Christmas presents were unwrapped in the evening. Mick got a hedge trimmer and a webcam. I got a big saute pan, a red fleece top, a new duvet cover and the latest Andy Griffee hard backs. A very good haul, worth the trip to London.

More watery mysteries

Saturday we said our farewells, hopefully we’ll get to see Andrew Jac and Josh next just before Easter. We’d managed to miss the really bad weather again for our trip back to Scarborough, although we did have torrential rain, then sunshine. When we turned onto the M18 we then got sleet which by the time we turned off the M62 had turned into snow, much of it looking like it would be hanging around.

Snowy Wolds

A road closure meant we had to divert to Bridlington and as soon as we ducked under the railway line all of the snow vanished, Scarborough was having quite a pleasant day!

My pretty little Thug

Tilly’s magic food bowl was totally empty and the biscuit bowl had been licked clean too.

Good job they came back when they did as Tom hadn’t left ANY reserves!

0 locks, 0 miles, 2 hire cars, 24 hours work, 7 actors, 21 strips of neon gaffa, 100 dabs of glue, 1 baggy set, 1 tight as a drum set, 2 showings, 1 happy director, 4 nights, 4 pizzas, 1 family Christmas, 1 whole salmon, 2 storms, 1 snowy landscape, 1 cat happy to have us home.

PS. One Designer looking for work.