It’s showtime! Right now it’s 1.15pm on Saturday, December 6. I’m sat in dressing room three at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange about to get into costume and have makeup slapped all over my face ready for today’s two performances of Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.
The nerves have just started to kick in, as they always do before every performance. There’s a speaker on the wall behind me, which as well as being linked to the stage manager’s radio, is a direct feed from the microphones on stage. As there’s still 15 minutes to go, the only noise is that of the audience chatting amongst themselves, and it is this noise before every show that releases butterflies into my stomach for their twice-a-day flight.
Despite the natural pre-show nerves however, there is a certain calmness amongst the team compared to last night, which was our opening night.
As I’ve mentioned before, we only had 10 days to learn absolutely everything, so the pressure was on to get it right. And you never know if the show is actually funny until you’ve had your first audience! Turns out we had nothing to worry about … well, unless you were the Prince. He kicks off each show with a big opening number, and no sooner than he burst onto the stage last night, his trousers split right open and gave the audience more than they bargained for.
But it was absolutely hilarious and, even though it was unplanned, it set the tone for what the audience found a side-splitting show!
I have to say, I am loving my part this year. I am playing Hector The Henchman, the man who the Wicked Queen (Sue Holderness from Only Fools And Horses) sends into the forest to kill Snow White – but don’t worry kids, I soon discover I’m a nice man really and I can’t go through with it!
It is very hard work though and sometimes it is difficult convincing people just how much effort, energy, and time goes into pulling off a show like this.
In fact, if my mates are anything to go by, it’s impossible to convince people, as in their eyes, this panto malarkey is just me messing about on stage and having a bit of a laugh.
To a certain extent that is true, because it is great fun, there’s just no point in getting into an argument with them. So, despite the recent 17-hour days, my lack of sleep, and countless cups of coffee, I am having the most amazing time and wouldn’t change it for the world. Hope to see you in the audience!