Wednesday, 23 December 2009

The show always goes on.

Since I started Hard Graft we have only ever cancelled one show back in 1999 when we were doing Thick as Thieves in a shop in Nottingham. The first night was packed with friends and family and went down a storm. however, someone forgot to tell the population of Nottingham that we were on for three weeks and our second night was supported only by one lady. The Equity rule I think has something to do with the amount of cast out numbering the audience so Dan and I decided to cancel and offer the lady a ticket at a later date. Word soon spread and we played to packed houses for three weeks.

This week Saddleworth has been covered with snow. our sell our houses have been diminished to those willing to walk to the theatre in ski suits. My mobile and the office phone has been rung off the hook with people asking if we've cancelled. I will never cancel a show Clare comes from the other side of Manchester and David drives from Leeds, so I feel if they can get through the blizzards we must go on.

I'll leave you with these words

There's no business like show business like no business I know
You get word before the show has started that your favorite uncle died at dawn
Top of that, your pa and ma have parted, you're broken-hearted, but you go on

There's no people like show people, they smile when they are low
Yesterday they told you you would not go far, that night you open and there you are
Next day on your dressing room they've hung a star, let's go on with the show!!

Merry Christmas and thank you all for your support.

See you next year


Monday, 14 December 2009

Elves and the Shoemaker opening day

Hard Graft Theatre Company's second Christmas Cracker opened this morning in Uppermill Saddleworth with the elves and the shoemaker and what a show. An audience is so important to a show, they are one of the magic ingredients that finishes off they process of making theatre. today to two sell out houses magic was made and an old hall in Saddleworth became a theatre. Children laughed, grown ups groaned and I sat with a grim ear to ear listening to the lines that before today had only lived in my head.

Best thing today was - I play Santa after the show and a little girl came into my grotto and I asked her, " what did I bring you last Christmas?" She said, "I'm polish you didn't see me last year". Now, if you didn't know I've been touring the country with Dan doing a show called Poles Apart and Dan taught me about 6 words of Polish, one being Hello, How are you? You should have seen the smile on her little face when I spoke Polish to her -

Jak sie masz

Oh and I nearly forgot - Holly our helper over heard a kid telling a teacher "It's not the real Santa, I went to Lap land last year and he's tall and thin, not fat."

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Elves and the Shoemaker

Well, what a hectic week. We started rehearsing for the Elves and the Shoemaker our second Christmas show with Claire Lever and David Crowley magnificently directed by Judith Barker. I'm doing what I do best - collecting props and building a set.

We have now had to put on two extra performances to cope with demand on Sunday 20th and Christmas Eve. both shows start at 4.00pm -

I thought I learnt last year about how best to run these shows, only thing I didn't consider was the popularity of this year's show. We have sold out many shows and probably doubled last years audience, we can only build and learn from this experience. Costumes are nearly made, lines learnt lights ordered. The Elves and the Shoemaker will be a great Christmas show, see you there.

Update - I watch a run this afternoon and it was lovely. It's going to be the best childrens show we've produced