Another season of sold-out shows is over and we all seem to have emerged reasonably intact, so a HUGE well done to everyone involved in making Red Riding Hood and the Three Little Pigs such a hit with the audiences.
Cast, you were shiny and wonderful up there and it's been lovely seeing all your characters take shape over the last three months. You took a few ideas and words on paper and brought the whole story to life in beautiful, entertaining and downright hilarious ways.
Juniors and teens, you’re firmly on the FADS ladder now – great to welcome some of you back for another year and to have some new faces as well. We hope you’ll all stay with us and make your way up to bigger roles – there’s some real talent peeking out already… 😊
While the cast get their moment in the spotlight, there's a big ol' machine beavering away behind them, so some extra-large thank yous to the team behind the production:
To Jane Stephenson, who does a tremendous amount, not just front of house on performance nights, but behind the scenes: rushing about between outlets on a more-or-less daily basis to keep an eye on ticket numbers; dealing with last-minute requests and panicked phone calls from people who got their nights mixed up (!); buying all the bar stock and refreshments; sorting out rotas for everyone else in the front of house team; monitoring cash sales of everything, from milky bars to programmes….we couldn’t do it without you.
The wardrobe team - Helen Watson, May Cheadle, Heidi Spence, Katherine Cowtan, Sheila Fraser and Rowena Laing – who put in many hours of sewing, sticking and fixing, to make all the characters so colourful and individual. The pigs' bottoms did several circuits of the team, but I think we can firmly agree that Version 6.3 was bang on!
The backstage crew, headed up by May, was an ever-changing (due to various clashing commitments outside FADS) team that included Gail Stephenson, Lorna Flisch, Michael Hewitt, Kevin Boland and Jonny North. When you don’t have continuity for the run, it makes it very tricky to keep things smooth, so well done - great job, May & Co.
And, making sure the juniors got to where they needed to be at the right time, in the right kit (and had the right chargers for their game consoles!), we had a rota of mothers - Karen Lindsay, Martha Mackenzie and Gail Reid, plus Katherine Cowtan. You lovely people had something of a baptism of fire and coped with it brilliantly. Hopefully you'll all be back next year!
Ellen Ross turns up to every rehearsal with a cheery smile, whatever the weather, prompting like the professional she is. It's a pretty thankless job, sitting there night after night, following the script in the semi-darkness and never really getting noticed, so a heartfelt thank you for a flawless job once again.
Lorna & Tony Flisch spent a ridiculous number of hours in the hall, making props, painting, tweaking, fixing and rigging. With our usual stage manager, Paul Anderson, recuperating with a brand new bionic hip, every time I found something fiddly that needed doing, it was Tony that got the "could you possibly just....?" phone call, and there he was with the toolbox.
Sam Yoffe volunteered his services on sound for a second year of technical excellence. I had no idea how much it involved, researching all the sounds – particularly selecting j-u-s-t the right ‘texture' of fart! - constantly having to listen for who’s on when and controlling each individual radio mic as well as all the other effects….I don’t know how he did it without going into a flat spin - really great job.
Jim Lightbody and Ian Kidd - smashing keyboard accompaniment and drumming once more; Martin Turner & Tony Flisch - lovely atmospheric lighting; David & Jackie Smith, thank you for all your help and support on the directing and logistics fronts, much appreciated.
Never having attempted anything like this before, I relied heavily on everyone around me offering advice and doing their bit, and - despite hitting pretty much every possible glitch en route to the closing of the final curtain - I think we pulled off a pretty accomplished production. Thanks, everyone - have a fabulous festive season and see you all t'other side of Hogmanay!
A few piccies here....and a load more on Flickr :)