It’s been a busy weekend. Up at the crack of dawn 3 days running to attend a convention and not getting home until late evening. So with some relief I woke up this morning with absolutely nowhere to go and nothing to do – at least that was the idea. But you know what they say about best laid plans/mice and men/time and unforeseen and all that…..
Bleary-eyed,I reached for my Hudl and was idly scanning down the timeline when I noticed the TWEET! Well, who else could it be? Having generously (and with great skill I might add!) RT’d Act One Productions’ latest (and, I must say, brilliantly designed new posters) I’d inadvertently invoked powerful forces, i.e. Jule, in the form of an uncompromising call to action. “GET WRITING!”
No preliminaries, no small talk, no theatrical lovey-speke. Just “GET WRITING!”
“Okay Jule,” says I. “Why the urgency? You’ve got this year’s scripts for Aladdin & the Meanie Genie AND Cinderella – not to mention the extra mid-year script for Alice in Summerland! So what’s the hurry?”
Jule merely mumbles something about marketing and how we have to get our act together well in advance. Too right! She’s got the POSTERS already!! Leaving retail advertisers at the starting post in the race for seasonal sales!
“In case you haven’t noticed, Jule, we’re still in the middle of 2014,” I argue. “This is a theatre company, not John Lewis!”
“Yes, but, as I mentioned in my email – and DON’T pretend you didn’t get it! – we’re almost booked up for 2014 and now people are already asking about 2015.”
This is a fair point. Since Act One Productions was formed 5 years ago, demand has increased along with the company’s reputation. Some of the pantomimes, both short and full-length versions, have proved so popular, they’re going out on tour again next year alongside new productions - not just over Christmas but also other times of the year.*
“So you see, I hardly have time to turn round for the next 12 months, which means the groundwork has to start now.” By groundwork, Jule’s referring to the scripts on which everything else is based – costumes, scenery, lighting, music, sound and, of course, casting. Looks like I’m going to be busy this autumn!
“Okay then,” I concede, “So that’s Puss in Boots for the short panto, Jack and the Grumpy Giant for the longer family panto, and Red Riding Hood for the summer show. Will any humans be in the casts next year?” I ask.
“Whatever do you mean?” replies Jule, and I can almost hear her long eyelashes fluttering with injured surpise.
“Don't play the innocent with me,Madame! Let’s face it, Jule, you’re not exactly adverse to sticking the odd donkey in here and there. Or elephant. Or duck… Goodness knows what creatures you’re planning to include this time! In fact, it’s not a theatre you need, it’s another Noah’s Ark!”
“Now THERE’s a thought!” cries Jule. “What are your plans for 2016?”
*For performance schedule, check out the website: