To the Congregational Hall! …in-between FA Cup matches on Sunday afternoon, for the first rehearsal of the Wivenhoe Pantomime Group since the Winterval break.
Oh the magic of the FA Cup; oh the magic of the Wivenhoe Pantomime: Unpredictability, jocular chanting and skid marks right up yer backside.
Ahh – but which is which, etc?
There was even a brass band (of sorts) on show at the Congregational Hall on Sunday Afternoon. Not so much Abide With Me, but Wake Up Boo.
Yep – Wivenhoe Pantomime military planning had deemed the first day back as Music Rehearsal Day. The full on band of bass, guitar, sax and keyboards is worth your six pounds entry alone for the William Loveless Hall [where else?] extravaganza.
“Would you please take your places for the opening scene!”
…came the call from Sara Rout, the Producer / Director / Sequin Sewer supreme. I didn’t know whether to take up my place at the front of the chorus line or exit stage left to the Congregational Hall Gents.
A bit of a singing detox with Musical Director Nick White, and the lovely Panto folk felt their way around the musical scales in the same way that some of us feel their way around the weighing scale during this time of the year.
Also some adding some superb professional guidance on Sunday was Angie Diggens, offering her skills to help co-ordinate the dance moves. It was as though the entire Wivenhoe theatrical world had assembled to help out with the Panto.
Which in a curious way, it had.
I’ll stick with the hit and miss photography, thanks.
Calls to “Give it some energy!” and “let’s add a shoulder shimmy!” were infectious. I was half-tempted to give it a little twist and shout, right up until the “what about a boy band stretch?” suggestion was offered.
The hit and miss photographer pulled a muscle just thinking about it.
The reward for all of this energetic activity was a king size box of Maltesers sitting on the desk of the Producer / Director / Sequin Sewer. A hangover from the Winterval period, but one that helps to bond together any semi-pro Panto.
Never underestimate the theatrical powers of a post-Christmas reduced price box of roughly spherical malt honeycomb centres surrounded by milk chocolate.
“Let’s go from the beginning!”
…came the curtain call.
How does that boy band stretch go again?
Time to make a sharp exit and cross the floor; time to head over to inside the Congregational Church itself. With the Morning Service having long since finished, the scene was one now of a raw run through of Bad to the Bone.
Not yer average Sunday session.
Boris Blackheart (BOO!) was on fine / foul form, depending on your point of view. Beware anyone sitting in the front row of the Loveless Hall come Pantomime opening night. Bring yer own boos.
Meanwhile something of a Sunday afternoon fashion show was being set up towards the back of the glamour of the Congregational Hall. The costumes are almost complete. I’m still sticking to the contractual strict instructions to keep them under wraps until opening night (ish.)
I’m also going start a rumour that there is something of a run on fur in Wivenhoe right now…
And so that was the first post-Winterval return of the Wivenhoe Pantomime. Much like the 3rd round of the FA Cup, there was plenty of potential for slip-ups and giant killing (um, wrong story.)
The Maltesers helped Monsters Rock make up for the lost time.
Two weeks and counting – they’re *almost* there…
The Wivenhoe Pantomime Group will perform Monsters Rock at the William Loveless Hall from 23rd – 26th January, with a 7:30pm show time. The afternoon matinee on 26th is close to selling out.
Tickets are available from both Post Offices and the Crossways store for the incredibly generous price of £6.