Panto Palpitations


So here we go. After more than a year of thinking about it, talking about it, and stitching on sequins for it, we’re less than two weeks from Curtain Up. Sleeping Beauty opens on January 12th at the Teatro Avogaria in Venice.

The director tells me he’s not sleeping well. I know exactly why.  No matter how well-organised you are, no matter how excellent your producer, this is the point at which rogue spanners can fall into the works. Like the Principal Boy going into premature labour. Well that’s one disaster that can’t befall us this time. A few of us may be about to lay theatrical eggs but as far as I know no-one is pregnant. 

Now that I’m merely an actor worrying is above my pay grade but does that stop me? No Siree, Bob. My biggest fear has been that an Arctic front will blow in, close all airports and reduce the cast to three imps and a dog. The long-term forecast now assures me there’s no snow on the way but then I think, what about volcanic ash? What about striking baggage handlers? And what if we collide with Mars?

Of course what I should really be worrying about are my lines  – a piece of cake you might think, seeing as I wrote the darned things, but no. Instead of remembering them I come out with something everso slightly different that would have been a better joke, if only I’d thought of it at the time. And so mess up the next person’s cue. Actors have been murdered for less.

I’m just about Off the Book (as we say, in the business) and have sort of promised myself to manage without the suckie blanket of a script in my hand from the very first rehearsal. Silly how scary it feels. I mean, we’re not exactly talking Hamlet here. 

Coming soon… what a superannuated panto fairy keeps in her bag of tricks.

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