The show must go on… and on!
Well, if you missed She Stoops to Conquer at the Brighton Little Theatre last week, don’t despair. As a special treat, we’ll give you a second chance next week.
The run at the Little Theatre was great fun, especially as ‘little ‘ really does mean ‘little’.
The theatre itself seats a maximum of 71 at any one time. If the audience in the front row stretch out their legs, they can be touching the front of the stage.
Although, with the stage lights on, you can see the people in the front row, the rest of the audience is completely hidden in the blackness behind the lights. So you have no idea how many people there are in the auditorium, whether they are following the story, or, indeed, whether they are still awake.
There are no proper dressing rooms at BLT, so the women get changed in the kitchen, surrounded by coffee mugs and biscuits, while the men are consigned to the workshop, surrounded by pots of paint, ladders and boxes of props.
The stage is about the size of a primary school classroom, which means that projecting your voice is not really an issue. However, it does mean that you have to be careful not to bump into the furniture or, worse still, that you don’t ‘mask’ other actors from the audience.
When the set is in place and the show is on, there is only room for single-file traffic off-stage for actors wanting to make their dramatic entrances and exits. There are lots of whispered ‘Sorry’s’, as people try to squeeze past each other
But all of these problems will pale into insignificance next week when we start our second ‘run’ at the Brighton Open Air Theatre. (Thursday 27 until Sunday 30th July. Be there, or be square!)
The B. O. A. T. is huge!
It can seat nearly 450 people and, apart from a couple of white walls at the back, it has no ‘backstage’ at all! So we won’t be able to complain about being cramped.
Making sure we can be heard, if indeed there are people choosing to sit in the back row, might be a bit tricky, especially if it is windy.
However, for me, the biggest challenge will be that all of the performances will take place in broad daylight, so we will be able to see the audience in all its glory as they eat their picnics, sip their chardonnay, chat amongst themselves or doze peacefully in the sunshine.
Sunshine? What sunshine? I’ve just read a headline from one of our more excitable tabloid newspapers that says that next week is predicted to bring the worse period of sustained bad weather this summer. Oh, boy! Can’t wait!
Oh, well. The show must go on! Break a leg, everyone.