Monday, 23 December 2013

Good Will and All That

Well it's Christmas Eve. Blogs have slowed down a bit last few weeks, what with the house move, festive preparations and of course the panto coming up.

Been an interesting few weeks with the show, we had to make some late cast changes and that is always disruptive, but the principals have knuckled down to work and we are practically there.
Final rehearsals have been mostly fun and good humoured though we have had our stressful moments! Kids though have been great. We knew when we decided to cast 70 odd dancers including a larger number of tiny tots, that this would make Sunday afternoons a bit chaotic.
Rehearsals are a bit of a mix, you know Toy Story and The Sound of Music with a bit of Emmanuel thrown in when the Dame does his Stand Up! (Showing my age there)

I have still shed loads to arrange before the show. Mostly now getting special effects and sounds done. These are the things that elevate the show. You can have great acting, music and dancing but without a suitable fart noise or the right thud when I get punched in the face it all comes to nought.

Me and oppo should be busy working on slapstick but are both engrossed with other things. But as usual we will find the time to rehearse our comedy bits or just make it up as we go a long. That usually works.

So to all my friends old and new, family, readers who don't know me personally, stalkers and any other wierdo's who read my blog, have a Merry Xmas.

I'll see you all at the Floral Pavilion in the new year so get your tickets!


Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Calvin Kline's or are they Primark

Been a bit lazy with the blog. Good excuse though as we've just moved house and clearing my cellar of 14 years of junk had to take priority. 

Talking of junk, rehearsals are progressing well with most principals now knowing their lines. Those who don't, we know who you are? It can be difficult though. I struggle and I wrote the stupid thing.

Me and the oppo have still some work to do on our slapstick bits. As usual we will keep it simple and I won't, at this stage reveal what we are going to do. Well I can't reveal it because we haven't written it yet. It will,however, probably involve blowing things up and oppo getting hit on the head several times with blunt objects. I like doing things last minute it keep things fresh.

Talking of fresh, the subject of whose sharing changing rooms rears its ugly head or stench.
Now me and the oppo's room is probably the most fragrant in the corridor ( You want to smell the girl's) Oppo always buys new Calvin Kline undies for the week of the show to impress any of the ladies who try to fight their way into our room. There not genuine CK's of course, I can tell by the fraying around the gusset. Not that I'm looking......moving on.

Busy weekend ahead, footy match with the Dame on Saturday which could be a heavy session being nearly Xmas. Just hope I remember which house to go back to!


Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Sick Note

OK before we start, I'm not well, and no it's not Man flu it's a proper cold in fact it's a an acute disease of the upper respiratory tract that is marked by inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, eyes, and eustachian tubes and by a watery then purulent discharge and is caused by any of several viruses (as a rhinovirus or an adenovirus) Glad we got that out the way.

Anyway,to use our Dames's standard pantomime segue,not to be confused with a segway which our Dame would love me to buy for him to make his entrance. Every year he wants to make his entrance on some motorised device such as a shopping trolley, lawn mower or this year a turbo charged wheel chair with go faster stripes. As usual I will have to ask oppo to make something, which he will..eventually.

Where was I, oh yes the pantomime. We move to full Sunday rehearsals this week, so now it's getting serious. Scripts must be binned. This is difficult for the cast as I am still writing it. Great when we start to do the material in the main hall with a bit of an audience. We can begin to see what works and what doesn't. There are some jokes I know will always work (You will all by now be very familiar with my if all else fails fart and fall over gag) but other more subtle humour has to be tried out. Now I know what your thinking, Pantobloke subtle humour I don't think so! But I can be subtle (please see clever segue/segway reference above)

Anyway from the look of this blog, I have obviously exceeded my 4 lemsip sachets in 24 hours so I will go and rest so I am fit for Sunday...not that you care


Wednesday, 13 November 2013

No I mean it!

First Music rehearsal this week. Always difficult as we try out new songs and principals get used to Norman playing on his organ. (Ok will clean it up now)

Choice of songs is very important as it is a big part of the show and we like to make sure that cast members are comfortable with the song choices. If possible, especially with solos, we like to use suggestions made by whose going to sing it.

That is as long as it's not "On my Own" from Les Mis. If I hear that bloody song again  I will be on my own, standing on a bridge over the Thames following Javert.

We have to achieve the right balance for our audience and that , lamentably for me, means One Direction. Will draw the line at Miley Cyrus. The thought of our Dame trying to Twerk, puts me off my porridge.

Watched part of the video of our last production of Little Red Riding Hood. It was good show and only about 8 years ago. It's also quite painful watching yourself, it's a bit like Cliff looking at himself in Summer  Holiday. Except Cliff looks the same.

Ah well looks like it's weekly Botox injections for me and oppo right up to the show.


Saturday, 2 November 2013

Cows and Cottages

So we move into November and panto preparations are gathering pace. Rehearsals are going well now that we have the full cast available and as usual we are getting all the rude ad libs most of which will be too rude to put in the show.

Went down with stage manager, stage managers mate and my oppo to the lockup to look at scenery situation. I usually stand round and supervise while the others do the lifting. I let oppo think that I'm too weak to lift anything by occasionally dropping a flat on his foot. Seems to work and he hasn't cottoned on yet. Last time we were down there he broke a floresecent ( not even close with the spelling there) light fitting and blamed me...typical!

Main debate this year surrounds the cottage. As per normal we want to blow it up, so we are looking at ways to do this without giving the older members of our audience a heart attack. This will involve a loud noise, lots of smoke, debris and flame. Would like to use real flame but budget and danger to small children will unfortunately prevent this.

Tickets are going well and we will shortly be ramping up publicity. Our new poster looks great.

Oh I am also now looking to spend some money on a new Pantomime Cow costume. This should be a good use of raised cash unless I can think of an udder way to spend it.....sorry h
Just getting in the mood


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Page 3 it Ain't

Two things to mention this week. Firstly I went along with other committee members to Wirral Met to judge the poster artwork competition they had agreed to run. The submissions were incredibly high standard. When people love what they are doing they can be so creative and we had a hard job picking a winner. In the end we decided on quite a controversial choice, but the artwork was so eye catching we had to go with it. We will publicise the winning entry in the next couple of weeks.
Secondly we had cast photographs for the show program at rehearsals this week. Funny that some people who love showing their full wears on the stage don't like getting their picture taken. Me, I love it and my oppo could only look on admiringly as I posed sexily for the cameras.
It was obviously quite hard for me not to look too provocative, but I think I managed it and didn't show too much shoulder. I even agreed for my oppo to have a joint shot with me so that he could benefit from my professionalism as a glamour model. Unfortunately though, the collective glare from our heads damaged the camera and the photographer had to be treated for snow blindness.


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Is that legal...exactly?

Love rehearsals, really do. Much rather be standing in a church hall on a Tuesday, than sitting at home with a fosters watching the most important England match of the year!
Still we all have to make sacrifices. 

Went to see Wallasey Ops show this week, really well done but so different from our show in so many ways. My oppo was in the chorus and had to make 8 changes!. Particularly liked his nymphomaniac granny role and the other two gay characters which he seemed to pull off with consummate ease.

Panto can be much more anarchic than musicals, the constraints that exist for a director of a copyright musical play just don't exist. We can literally do what we like if you can think of it (and it is not that illegal and/or upsetting for small children or old ladies) we can do it and often will.
Don't read anarchic for unprofessional the best performers ad libs are usually remembered, recorded and rehearsed.

Right I'm in danger of sounding artistic here so I'll shut up. 

Joy of joys bag packing at Morrisons tomorrow, oh I just remembered,spray tan appointment, never mind.

Speak next week,


Saturday, 5 October 2013

What a load of bullocks!

Well we had our second principals rehearsal this week. We all stood up for the first time to deliver our lines. In my early days I always found this quite scarey. Having to stand up in front of your peers is always much harder than performing in front of an audience.

As we are doing Little Red Riding Hood, we have a couple of younger principals so we have to tone down the adult humour a bit. This is harder for some than others, pantomime rehearsals always bring out the childish innuendo in the cast "oo eh missis". This, however, is a really important part of the creative process with many bad jokes being invented ( or reinvented) as we  giggle our way through the evening with infantile ease.

So we will go right through Act 1 a few time until the story becomes ingrained and then I will start my Sir Laurence Olivier critique
"Say it louder like you really mean it"
"Where's your motivation for this character"
" Good now fart and fall over"

Will keep you all informed of the artistic progress


Friday, 20 September 2013

Get the Whip out as we've cast off

Well we've cast and were ready to go. And what a line up we've got. Our regular followers will be relieved to know that there are a few familiar faces in the show and they will be even more relieved to know that one of them is me. My oppo obviously got a part by the skin of his teeth still you can't have everything.

Think we have some surprises in the line up for this show which always creates creativity as the show develops

We have a number of exciting new cast members this year. Auditions were amazing with a few X factor moments "oh my god I didn't see that coming"

Had some really good and talented people who we had to turn away and I hope that they are not too disillusioned (spelled that correctly amazingly) and will come back again. (Note to self too many ands in that  sentence). We really do like to strike a balance of experienced pantomimers (new word there!) and new talent. I think we have achieved it this year.

Rehearsals start on Tuesday, so I am going to have to dig the whip out.(don't really have to dig it out as I know exactly where it is, in the dungeon with my other props)

Blogs should get quite interesting from here on in.


Saturday, 14 September 2013

Who's got the X factor

Anguish, tears,shouting, conflict, pain, treachery, conspiracy, violence, no not world war 3 just the principal auditions.

And what a fun day we had last Sunday. We had a good mix of young and old which left us with a few difficult decisions to make. Bit like a football manager "we have a lot of competition for places but it is a good to be in this position and we are over the moon and it was a panto of two halves etc etc"

Anyway think their will be some surprises in team selection and hope that some of our key players will not be putting in a transfer request

Rehearsals start this week (for most of us!) and hope we are going to have a lot of fun amidst the moaning and groaning from the cast at having to learn their lines and remember which way they have to come on.

Also great to see all the kids at first dancing rehearsals last week. So many of them, it will be great to see the show start to develop over the next two months.

Right better go and write something funny which doesn't include farting and jokes about dog poo, well maybe a little

Blog should be back on track now panto season has started so stay tuned


Sunday, 18 August 2013

Ready,steady and we're off

I admit I have been a bit lazy with the blogs for the past couple of weeks. This is however the quietest period of the year. Theatre has been booked, scenery hired and dancers auditions completed. You could however call it the calm before the storm or perhaps the squall in our case.

I need to now turn my attention to the principal auditions. For me one of the most important aspects of the whole production. Making sure we have the right blend of youth and experience. It never fails to amaze me how performers can do brilliant auditions and then promptly turn off their talent when they turn up at rehearsals, or worse even, to first night.

Contrary to popular belief we love it when new faces turn up at auditions, especially if their good.

Good news is that I will probably try again for a part. And yes if someone better than me (or us if oppo is not doing something more important that day,because I usually have to ring him at ten to four on auditions day only for him to say he's emptying his garage again!) they'll get the roles......probably.

Anyway there's loads of other parts to go for and if not, and if your really good, I'll write one for you.
Done that before and that's the beauty of pantomime,we can do what we like and often do. Just remember years ago Mr Blobby was written into the show on the morning of the first performance.

Keep your eyes peeled for audition dates which I think are 3rd Sept at St Pauls' and 8th Sept at Moreton Methodist. Hope that's correct, anyway check, this is an amusing blog not a dam notice board.


Monday, 5 August 2013

Minute that, will you?

My blog's late again this week. Everything slows down in August, including me,as kids are off and everyone goes on holiday.

I am feeling pretty apathetic this week but know I will soon have to ramp up my enthusiasm as the important panto quarter  approaches. There will be lots going on from September, principal auditions, rehearsals starting and promotion planning to name just 3.

And of course meetings. Meetings, meetings, meetings. Lots of meetings with agendas, any other business, (yeah like what time does this meeting finish so I can go to the pub) and of course minutes. Which nobody reads and everyone agrees are right, and then votes on them for some reason. Minutes come from latin meaning small object or insignificent thing. Why then are they always 6 pages long!

Anyway enough of this negativity upwards and onwards. This isn't going to get the audition pieces done or the script finished.

Promise next week that blog will be funnier. I need to start thinking of some funny lines for the Dame's opening spot that won't' offend the mayor and also come up with some original comedy for me and the oppo to do. Not really worried about the latter, if all else fails one of us will fart and fall over. That usually does the trick.

See Yeah


Monday, 29 July 2013

Jelly for Breakfast

OK, yes I have been on holiday. Did not want to broadcast it in case you all burgled the place.

Well, we've cast the Dancers (Congratulations) and we've also cast Red Riding Hood. Being a child part we have cast two RRH's this year. I hope this will not result in too much competition like Rooney and Van Persie at Old Trafford. Maybe we should introduce in-show competition for all the parts. It would be good seeing the Dames fight it out for the remaining slot. the one exception would be competition for the comedy duo parts, that would be just wrong.

So we've just got the principals to cast now and that will be done in September. I am sure we will have many familiar faces and hopefully some new talent.

Been over to the States to do Orlando. Third time I've been there and it does not change much. I love the tipping culture over there and how it encourages good service and friendly smiles.Some of our chain restaurants could learn a lot from over there.

I have, of course, put on 2 stone in weight due to over indulgence at the Ponderosa "all you can eat buffet breakfast".. typical menu for me (but only a small portion of what's available)

Fruit (notional)
Oatmeal (Again notional but added maple syrup as I was in holiday)
Steaky bacon, 2 eggs (over easy whatever that means) sausages, mushrooms, gammon, toast
Pancakes (more syrup)
Breakfast Pizza
Some strange corn beefy thing
Waffles with Mr Whippy ice cream, more syrup and hundred and thousands
Oh and a muffin and some blue jelly and pink blamange (Spelt that wrong)

As a type 2 Diabetic I am not endorsing this in any way but it was great fun.

Oh well back to the Kettlebells

Hope you all are having a good holiday


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Where would I rather be today!

Oh lovely, the day dawns of auditions for the very important part of Red Riding Hood. And good luck to all the kids who will be having a go today. I am sure that many of them will wish they were somewhere else. Can't imagine why, you would only be out in the sunshine or watching a Brit win Wimbledon for the first time in 77 years. We always seem to arrange auditions on a day where there is,very obviously,something much better to do. One year we even managed it on a Sunday when England were playing in the World Cup finals. I drew the line at that one and there was an empty chair where the nice one sits at the end of the table, something to do with a head cold. Anyway good luck again if you are auditioning and I promise not to be too grumpy

Saw The Who last week. Enjoyed it immensly (got the spelling wrong there) although I don't think my oppo enjoyed me singing Pinball Wizard down his right lughole. He's not a big Who fan like me and he was still sulking after having to pay me the 70 odd quid for the ticket. I had paid out for the tickets  months ago and had already recovered from the wallet shock!

 Drink seems to play a huge part for many attending concerts at the Arena. Many people get completely bladdered and spend the entire concert trying to dance,staggering in the aisles,dribbling, trying to sing with there arms in the air and cut a sad figure trying to bask in the reflected glory of the group on stage...anyway enough about me.

See you at auditions. If you don't know me, I'll be the one at the end without the grumpy face ,if you see a headphone in my ear, it's a hearing aid and not me listening to the tennis.

Be good and tuneful if you can manage it


Saturday, 29 June 2013

We Won't Get Fooled Again..oh yes we will!

So the day of our dancing auditions dawns and hopefully we will have lots of hopefuls donning their ballet,dance, jazz shoes or even Doc Martens. I don't give a monkeys what they wear, as you already know I steer well clear of dancing auditions,though I may stride in and try to look important for a few minutes.

More important things for me today as me and my oppo are going to see The Who tonight at the Echo Arena. Bit full circle for me, as I first saw them in Liverpool 40 years ago (yes FORTY !)and having watched Jagger on the box last night it made me sit down again and think about just how long you should go on as a performer. Is it better to look back at videos of shows 20 years ago when we stll had hair (and on our heads too) or do we continue. Do we get better like a fine wine or deteriorate like a rancid greek yoghurt. I certainly don't want to play an ugly sister, in a bathchair, claiming Attendance Allowance and with my carer in attendance. My oppo already has to put makeup on to make himself look less ugly to play this part.

Anyway we will enjoy the concert and I am certain it will be a very mature (that's polite for decrepit) audience who will rock along to Won't Get Fooled Again and other anthems from their youth.

With auditions starting the panto year will now start rolling like a runaway train with me and my fellow production team trying to deal with the many issues that come along on the trip. Like what colour cotton to use on the  tutus, or what meat to put in the batches or what mixer should I have with my vodka. It never ends.

I'll go now as I need to decide what trendy gear to wear for the concert as I am sure that my oppo will make an effort and I saw him eyeing up a nice blue cardy in Moss Bros last week.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Bubonic Plague

Right, got a cold this week and am suffering. Before you start,you all need to realise that this is not your usual cold. This, obviously, is something far far worse. You see even Mrs Pantobloke doesn't realise that the minor virus that she had last week, which was probably very mild, has now mutated into something far more insidious. I am sure that there is scientific proof that when the microbes, that were probably passed on this very ipad, go from female to male hosts,they grow ten fold. I need intensive nursing and comfort and I am simply not getting it! And it simply is s'not fair.(sorry about that little mucas pun, snot is not fair but greenish grey)

Anyway enough about my suffering (pause for coughing fit and sneeze) One of our cast members appeared in a real musical this week having won a national talent competition to appear in the Rocky Horror Show. Don't name people in my Blog, as you know, but well done Queen Rat.

If I manage to shake off this serious condition, I will give you a panto update next week. Leave you with a little known fact

The term bubonic plague is derived from the Greek word βουβών, meaning "groin." 


Saturday, 15 June 2013

Tchaikovsky or Hawkwind?

The panto year is now gaining pace. Auditions for dancers coming up at end of month and I spent some time creating an advert to go in the local paper. I resisted the temptation to include a picture of me on the advert opting instead for a photo of some dancers from a previous show.

This is because we are not trying to attract 50 odd year old balding men as dancers for the show but young talented local individuals. We could of course introduce a troop of male dancers in my age group but we would then have to pay people to come and see the panto and I'm not sure we could afford it.

We had a meeting with the choreographer this week to discuss the dance numbers and the script. Choosing music is so important. My choices of Hawkwind, Motorhead and Blue Oyster Cult were again dismissed. My fellow production team failing to visualise how good ending the first half with a mass ballet to Ace Of Spades, could be. Never mind.

Script is coming on. I am very protective of the writing at this stage. It is like a baby, needs nurturing and developing but without the projectile vomiting. But we are determined to evolve the show into something special. Shorter, faster, and funnier...bit like me really.

Anyway as year moves on this blog will start to get really exciting and I won't ramble on so much. So keep reading.


Saturday, 8 June 2013

Pain and Pleasure

When I visited Florida for the first time back in 1998 I went on a Disney attraction called ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter,with my 16 year old son. It scared the pants off us. The ride was finally closed for good in 2003 and replaced with something that didn't have fat American kids running to the loo. It was terrifying, truly 4 dimensional. Darkness, noise, escaped Aliens running round the auditorium when you were immobilised in a chair.People were screaming, kids were crying,there was a mass hysteria but most afterwards said they loved it and it was certainly the one Disney ride I remember. Certainly better than It's a Small World,which would certainly benefit by adding Chucky wandering round with a meat cleaver.

Made me think what a fine balance it is between being terrified and being delighted. This years show has a demonic wolf. I can remember playing the part some 20 years ago and growling out my lines to the sound of some small child being traumatised in the third row. Being scared can be great fun as long as you know you are really safe and that everything always ends happily ever after.

Maybe this year we have a darker ending, Red Riding Hood gets eaten, Robin Hood is tried and hanged Mother Hubbard dies of old age and the Sherriff of Nottingham lives happily ever after with his ill gotten gains in a villa in Marbella.

Or maybe not


Saturday, 1 June 2013

So that's were the word Codpiece comes from!

Been getting down to some script work this week. I say work rather than writing because it is a combination of adapting material from previous scripts with new words rather than composing pure script.

Lots of our material is created from larking around during rehearsals. Thats why it is so important to surround yourself with creative people and casting the round pegs in the round holes. Often, if I've been particularly lazy, sketches might not be fully scripted and this creates more work for future shows. 

For instance this year I want to recreate  the ballet sketch we did some some 5 years ago and I was relieved to find that I had actually written down all the stuff that we did previously. The ballet sketch replaced the old school room sketch which was getting a bit tired ("where's yer grammar ? At home with my grandpa") you get the picture.

So I get to wear the duck costume and my oppo has to wear the black leotard,lycra thong and cod piece. It's no use me wearing the lycra, as my legs are too good and it's not as funny, also the codpiece is too small. My oppos' legs on the other hand are god made for comedy. When I say god made, I mean  in a similar way as god made chicken or perhaps emu legs for people's amusement. (He doesn't read the blog regularly so I can say what I like)

Will keep you all informed of progress

Incidentally just looked up codpiece on Wikipedia, and discovered what cod was in middle english. Can't repeat it for decency sake but think cricket, snooker or golf and you'll figure it 


Sunday, 26 May 2013

Summertime and the living is Sleazy

Ok my blog is late this week, but it's sunny, I repeat it's sunny so I am topping up my tan. Who am I kidding I'm trying to start a tan before my hols. What usually happens is that my head, which as you all know is a bit exposed, goes brown and my body, which thankfully you don't, know stays a pasty white colour. This is not a good beach look but I am stuck with it untill I come back reincarnated as Julio Inglasio (If that's spelt correctly I'll eat my sun hat) or better still Beyonce, which may make bath time more interesting than present.

Where was I, oh yes the Panto. Well it was the agm this week and it was as exciting as usual.The voting for each of the coveted committee positions was as competitive as Bonny Tyler and I just was able to hang on to my Co Producer role, I like Co Producer as nobody really knows what it stands for and what I have to do which is obviously A LOT. Anyway the year roles on and it will soon be dancers auditions....I can't wait


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Take Azerbaijan for example.

Our intrepid bag packers are out this weekend raising money for the society. Such hard,work and so important to the health of the society.As with many groups it is the work of a very few individuals that make the difference.

Eurovision last night. Great fun but so bizarre that we get so few votes and are obviously not preferred by many European states yet they all prefer to sing in our native tongue.Take  Azerbaijan for example, an independent Turkish state with its own language and I am sure fantastic culture but they still enter a song in English! Its ironic that we would probably get more votes if we reciprocated and sang in Azerbanjani

Been doing more work on scenery selection this week and pondering the script changes needed to produce a slicker show. You will be glad to know that I have got over my post NODA awards sulk for another year. Eurovision has certainly inspired me and the opening number is definitely going to be Hold Me, the Farid Mammadov version sung in Azabaijani of course!

Gələn həftə danışmaq


Saturday, 11 May 2013

Sour Grapes and Serial Killers

Not happy!

So we all went off to Blackpool, sat through what seemed like hundreds of awards for actor in a musical, best actress in a musical,best musical director in a musical, best director in a musical etc, etc, and what were we beaten by in best pantomime category yes a musical, Beauty and the flippin Beast!

Now this is not sour grapes..What am I talking about it is! I am currently having a rethink about doing Red Riding Hood next year. I am thinking of taking a more original approach which I think will give us more chance of an award. 

What about Hannibal Lecter the Pantomime. A fairy story about a mass serial killer who eats his victims. Should make a great cookery sketch and something our dame can get her teeth into. Or we could do The Exorcist the Pantomime, a great bedroom scene with lots of slapstick. Or Emmanuel the Pantomime ....ok I'll shut up now, but you get the picture. No, we will plod on trying to provide traditional high quality traditional family pantomime and hang the awards.

Enough of the rant. I promise next weeks blog will be back to it's light hearted best.


Friday, 3 May 2013

Do the Hustle

Went to a dance show this week. Anyone who knows me will realise that dance is not my cup of tea, but it's a really important chunk of the panto. Great to see all the really young kids. They just wheel them on in cute costumes and get them to hop a bit which is about the total extent of my dancing skills.

Unless your Wayne Sleep ( my feet are more Wayne Asleep) you really lose most of your rhythm at about 52. Along with your hearing, sight, memory and other more personal things,your faculties diminish as you go on. Me,dancing in the Hamilton Club to Pickerty Witch is now a distant memory.(Incidentally, Pickerty Witch was not a good example there, as I used to do a good Nutbush City Limits shuffle from side to side and also a passable bump to Disco Tex and the sex-o-lettes.Though I never found out what a Sex-O-Lette was)

Sorry rambling again. Noda awards Sunday.We are cramming into my oppos car and going up for lunch this year. Better not be a buffet as I hate queing for food. I am leaving plenty of space in my case for the award as I am pretty confident this year. If we win,the bump might get one final performance at the Hilton Hotel never know!

Will announce our award next can't wait!


Saturday, 27 April 2013

Useful things to do with a meat hook

Went to a BBC Radio Merseyside sponsored presentation for Amateur Theatre Groups this week. Quite interesting as it gives us better access to the radio to promote what we are doing, as long as we can think of something different or funny to say ( shouldn't be too hard, as the bishop said to the actress). 

Anyway, guy from Noda gave a good speech on the problems that AmDrams face and pretty much hit it on the head, citing getting bums on seats, involving young people and financial management as the main issues. Agree with that. Being an obvious luvvie we had the usual problem of getting him off stage once he was up. We have same problem in our show, once performers get on the stage(present company excepted..ahemm) we have to prise them off with a large meat hook.(You all know who you are)

Met with my oppo yesterday to discuss next years show.As usual we fantasied about various changes we could make to the panto to make it more interesting. Unfortunately many of the ideas would be banned in De Wallen and won't make the stage. Incidentally my daughter is off to Amsterdam on Sunday, so BEHAVE.

Finally,as this is a personal blog,an old friend of mine died this week just 55
R.I.P. Ian Parker (Highway Star)


Sunday, 21 April 2013

More blah blah

Not such an interesting week. Met up with producer this week to discuss scenery. We were a bit disappointed with cloths last year, the old adage “It will look alright when it’s lit” didn’t actually apply, as when we turned on the lights  the cloths still looked like a dirty bedspread., not that we have any dirty bedspreads in our house (just in the off chance Mrs Pantobloke reads this!)

Didn’t hear the BBC Radio Merseyside piece that me and oppo did. It went out last Sunday and I confess I didn’t want to hear it live. Anyway got BBC to send me a copy so have asked Webmaster (That sounds great doesn’t it WEBMASTER!..sounds like some medieval wizard) were was I, oh yes I’ve asked our web guy to put it on the website so you can all access it. For information, oppo sounds fine but I sound like some effeminate theatrical scouser . Still presenter seems to find us amusing.

Only two weeks to our night of debauchery (for younger readers please read nice time for debauchery) at the NODA awards at Blackpool’s Hilton Hotel. I am already preparing my award acceptance speech. Think I will limit it to about twenty minutes and promise not to cry..too much. For those on my table remember that the bottle of wine I bought is for my consumption only please.

Oh going to some Workshop organised by Radio Merseyside called “Up for the Arts” this week. Sure it will provide me with some material for next weeks blog.

Bye for now


Friday, 12 April 2013

Oo la la

It's time to start thinking about scenery for next years show. After theatre hire it's probably our biggest outlay and always hard trying to balance cost against quality.We generally go to the budget end and as a result some of the cloths have seen better days hence!

Treasurer "It will be alright when the lights go on it" 
Me "It looks like a public toilet"
Treasurer "Yeah and it's cheap"
Me "But it's supposed to be the grand ballroom"
Treasurer"It's in the second half, no one will be watching by then"

Had two french teachers staying this week which has been fun and a chance for me to show off my Joey Barton french vocab. Reminded me of when I went into a french shop on holiday in the Vendee which only sold barbecued chickens and I asked for a poisson (meaning to say poulet!) Imagine, This bemused frenchman surrounded by chickens with a mad englishman shouting "Fish if you please" at him repeatedly before scowling and walking out. We had pizza that night.

See yeah 



Friday, 5 April 2013

Radio Ga Ga

So, did a bit of radio PR this week. Me and my oppo (That's not Mrs Pantobloke but my panto partner)(That's partner in a performing sense) ( Going a bit wild with the brackets here!) ( See there I go again) 

Right, (Start again ...stop it) ( Note to self..less brackets) as....I was saying, went down to Radio Merseyside Tuesday, to do a pre-recorded slot on the panto. Took my oppo with me for support as I thought it would be a bit less dry with the two of us. I wrote a bit of background stuff  beforehand, though oppo quickly got in first with the "he's got a good face for radio " line seconds before I was going to deliver it! 

It went ok, though was surprisingly nerve wracking when you consider it was just a young researcher doing the interview.Will let you know when it's going out.

Afterwards we had an excuse to go for a beer  (Not that we both need permission...honest)
I also had possibly the worst pie ever made. Steak and kidney, without the steak and kidney.Made me wish for the good old days of supermarket value pies infused with bits of Mr Ed.

Ok I'll go now (And take my brackets with me)


Thursday, 28 March 2013

What's in a Name

Stupid, but I was laying in bed watching the weather forecast on Tuesday, snow,ice , you get the picture then they showed the weather presenters name Sara Blizzard! How can that be, thought I had a fever or had put ketamine in my tea instead of sweeteners. The old guy who fixes my lawnmower is Mr Green and I had a teacher called Mr Death when I was in primary (Though he used to pronounce it Mr Deeth for some reason). Names are so stupid a chair maker called Mr Pugh  Mr Baker. Tiler, Thatcher, Goldsmith , Butcher. Steward, Farmer , Sheperd , Bridger , Saddler, Fisher, Mariner. Carpenter, ,Weaver,, and thousands more no doubt ..anyway as usual I am rambling.

Where was I ..oh yes the panto , and easter eggs how many should you get? I think one is enough (as long as it is a big one with flakes in and I don’t mean the £1.99 one from Home and Bargain) I  think easter eggs have got out if hand, There was one picture of some spoilt kid buried under them on You Tube. Should be some legal limit, like in China or is that the number of kids you can have..who knows.

Well you can tell there is sod all to report on the panto this week except for some female reporter from the BBC who wants to interview me on Tuesday about the society. Better make sure I’m off the horse tranquilisers by then, only joking don’t take horse tranquilisers at Easter. Wonder if her name is Mrs Riter. Let you know how I got on next week

See You


Friday, 22 March 2013

Snow use moaning about it!

God it’s snowing.This reminds me of years ago when one Saturday we had to put on two matinees and an evening performance and we awoke to a blanket of snow. With amateur shows like ours, weather can make quite a difference to final box office receipts.

You really have to ask yourself if you would be prepared to venture out in a raging blizzard to watch a panto when, as an alternative, you could simply stay at home, dunk your ginger nuts (no pun intended there to our auburn friends) and watch Border Watch New South Wales on Sky Living or something. Incidentally I'll say right now that I really  wouldn’t want to get into argument with our red head community as I live with one “ How do you start an argument with a redhead? Say something...anything !!”

Script is still sitting (virtually that is) on my laptop behind me. I was hoping that writing this blog would spur me into a script writing frenzy but sadly no. Still more important things to do like practice with my new coffee machine, look at the Everton website, look out of the back window, look out of the front window, look at price of theme park tickets, clean the grid and so on and so on. Will get round to it honest and when I do you’ll be the first to know…but keep on breathing !

Right busy day ahead, the front window hasn’t been watched for sometime and I need to find someone to cut my toe nails.

Will be in touch


Sunday, 17 March 2013

Tired and Tearful

Sorry Blog’s late but got a decent excuse as my eldest son got married on Friday. The whole event was emotionally exhausting with me blubbering every time somebody said nice things about him, which was often. Think I will have to consider some serious sedation when my daughter gets married judging by my emotional instability as just the grooms dad!

Anyway I’m not going to go on about the wedding, though in many ways it was like putting on a show…very theatrical. I of course got to dress up in tails etc, only thing I was missing was my panto wig and after seeing some of the early wedding pictures of the light bouncing off my bonce, I think I should have worn it. There was a cast, a script, music, jokes, a prince charming and a fairytale princess. No panto baddies though and there wasn’t a fight at the end I’m afraid. Now it’s all over it does feel the same as after a successful production, relieved but a little bit sad.

We had another Panto committee meeting this week. (know your bursting with excitement now) “Good News” is that our fund raising secretary has arranged for more supermarket bag packs. Joy beyond Joy. People who know me will know how much I enjoy this activity. It is marginally preferable to having your teeth scraped by a dental technician who has a very painful mouth ulcer which she has just bitten.

Promise I won’t be late next week guys.


Friday, 8 March 2013

Over Sized Cotton Buds

How much stuff should you keep? We all have that issue, my basement is full of crap like  an old 1980’s gas fires that would probably send you into a deep sleep if installed.

We have major problems with our panto stuff. We have a storage unit crammed to capacity, current inventory:-

Giant Mousetrap (150cm x 100cm) x 1
Over size Cotton Bud ( 100cm) x 1
Inflatable Octopus (never used) x 1
Large mallet and chisel
Wooden seagulls in UV paint x 2

Etc etc you get the picture. Problem is we hate to throw stuff out and the over size cotton bud joke ( Can’t tell you for decency sake were we stick it) can’t be done every year. Incidentally there are jokes that can be done every year, such as “ When I nod my head you hit it” which when combined with hitting my oppo  on the head with a mallet, seems to always get at least a snigger. ( Note to self: Do not throw away large mallet and chisel) (Further reminder to self: Do not hit oppo with non padded end of mallet this year if possible)

Suppose we will carry on as normal. Good news this year is we will get to do exploding cottage scene. Got into trouble last time as I wanted to use large maroon for the bang ( for you non luvvies a maroon is like a bomb which creates a big bang without killing too many people) When we tested it on stage it created a sound wave that knocked the frothy cream off the cappuccino’s in starbucks and launched the New Brighton Life Boat.. Had to use a medium one in the end.

Got to go now and pen a new scene involving an oversized cotton bud

Speak next week


Friday, 1 March 2013

Lathering Up

I do a lot of my thinking naked. Not in a weird “see that naked bloke in the front room” Rodin (one for art lovers there) sort of way, but in the shower. When you are standing there under the water, it’s great thinking time and I often come up with my best ideas. It’s remembering them afterwards and writing them down where I have the problem as I invariably become sidetracked with something important like cleaning the grid. Anyway I have done sod all on the script this week and probably won’t touch it until I have to, which knowing me will be three days before the first rehearsal. In the meantime, if asked about progress, I’ll reply with my usual “slow, there’s a lot to do”

Went to the pub last night and a bit thick headed so I’ll keep it short and leave you with the thought that if you are reading one of my jokes at rehearsals it may well have been created by me, naked and lathering up.

Going to the football (Everton) with Widow Twankey tomorrow (you don’t hear that sentence often!) You’ll have guessed he’s our panto dame, and not just a dame, only the best dam dame this side of the four bridges (for my American readers these are 4 bridges over the docks in Birkenhead England.)

See You


Friday, 22 February 2013

Blank Screens

I thought I would have weeks like this when I decided to write this blog. In short a week, where, sod all happens and I find myself looking at a blank field on a computer.
Still I suppose it’s akin to when I’m writing or updating a script. What seemed funny 20, 10, or 5 years ago is not so funny now. It’s strange how a few words on a computer can effect how 3000 people can enjoy (or not!) an evening in 10 months time.

It’s difficult writing and producing a pantomime, always a fine balance between keeping the kids amused and stopping it being mind numbingly boring for the adults.
I make it a practice of never looking directly at adults in an audience when I am on stage. I remember, once, peering out across the footlights and picking out one bloke just sitting there, arms crossed, under sufferance with an awful frown on his face. I try to remember this when I am under pressure to dumb down (clean up) the jokes in the show.

It’s also really difficult writing on your own, which is why most comedy writers do it in groups (ooh ehh misses!) Much easier to nick the good ideas off other people and then pass it off as your own creative writing. I do this with my double act partner over a starbucks. Something always comes out of these sessions though the hilarious humour is now punctuated with delays due to age and the effect of drinking 2 medium americano’s in an hour. Ironic that trying to write comedy whilst pissing yourself!

Speak next week