It was only last night, that we visited the Playhouse, but I couldn’t wait to write-up my experience of Grandpa In My Pocket and Nottingham’s Playhouse.
Nottingham Playhouse is celebrating its 50th year, at its current location. We were incredible lucky as both myself, the rest of The Ana Mum Diary team, and lots of other local bloggers were given a back stage tour. Regular readers of my blog will know that I have two daughter aged 10 and 4. Sometimes because of this age gap, its hard to satisfy both of their needs, last night turned out just perfect. Miss A (4) woke up and the first thing she said to me was she wanted to see Grandpa In my Pocket again tonight. Miss N (10) on the other hand has declared she now knows for definite she wants to be an actor when she grows up. Both of the girls went to sleep VERY happy last night!
We started off at the Sky Mirror, iconic and very well-loved landmark. I love this photograph, the mirror looks as if it is melting into the sky.
Next up, we got to visit the whole back stage, and meet lots of the key back stage people. It was absolutely fascinating!
So we all headed through the stage door, feeling very Thespian like and went through the huge network of corridors and rooms that are the engine house at the hear of the Nottingham Playhouse.
First up was scenery :
Nottingham Playhouse is unusual as it builds and designs lots of the sets and props ‘in house’ rather that just having lots of visiting productions, who bring everything with them. We were able to preview exclusively, the backdrop to the pantomime that was currently being worked on. They work on an image that is 25 time bigger than its original, by using a grid and a projector. I loved the excitement and enthusiasm as we were told of the huge amounts of glitter that will be involved in a production such as this. I think you can see the backdrop is a gorgeous colour, they were just starting to paint the wording on, before they hand apply all of that glitter, to give it a truly bejewelled panto feel.
Next up was the props department, it really was a veritable treasure trove from upcoming productions and old favourites. Because they make and buy all of the props themselves, they can therefore reuse props in other productions. It was great to hear that one the prop departments proudest productions was actually Grandpa In My Pocket, that we were just about to see.
Then we were off to the have a sneak peek at the costumes. Now the costume department were working on some top-secret costumes for several productions, including the next Nottingham Playhouse Pantomime, so I didn’t take any photographs. However Tall Dad (aka my hubby) had the opportunity to wear a hat that panto guru, and resident Dame, Kenneth Alan Taylor will be wearing in his 30th pantomime at Nottingham Playhouse. What do you think?
I think it’s definitely a look you can carry off Tall Dad!
We then made a swift exit to the stage door, so that we could rejoin the rest of the audience to enjoy the show.
The new Grandpa In My Pocket, is being revisited, after it was such a success last summer. Once the cast have completed the run from Thursday 23 May – Friday 31 May 2013 at the Nottingham Playhouse, it then tours the UK. HERE is a listing of where it travels too.
If you would like more information about booking it in Nottingham, then please visit THIS LINK.
Grandpa in my Pocket comes to the stage with a whole story, in this new theatre experience for 2013. The show has was hugely popular on Cbeebies.
Running Time: 2 hours (including an interval)
Age guidance: 4-11 years
Jemima/Miss Smiley Ebony Feare
Mum/Great Aunt Loretta Lizzie Franks
Jason Mason Javan Hughes
Grandpa/Mr Whoops Robin Simpson
Horatio Dale Superville
Dad/Mr Mentor/Mr Liker Biker Sam Worboys
Here is what Miss A (4) said were her favourite moments
“I loved the beautiful dancing of Jemima, and the very funny Bonglebirds. I liked all of the different characters. My favourite was Mr Liker Biker, he was funny and when he was in his boat going to rescue them I laughed lots.”
“I loved it when Grandpa, took his hat off and he was small, medium and then big, Grandpa was brilliant”
Miss N (10) said :
“I think it was enjoyable for all ages. I especially loved how with the use of material, they made it seem that Grandpa when on a journey on the sea”
“My favourite character was Jason Mason, he made me really laugh and he is a great actor. It was great to be able to meet him afterwards”
Once the show was over, we waited patiently until the rest of the audience had left, before we invited up on stage to see what happens during a show. I was actually surprised how organised it was. Of course some of the props, are needed swiftly but I didn’t realise each of the props carefully labelled.
It was truly a fantastic experience to see what goes into a production. I think I have only scratched the surface in this post of the things we were told about life at the Nottingham Playhouse. It really felt like a privilege to be shown around, and really helped to demystify it.
I lost count how many times both I and the other blogger said to one another “how cool is this!”
Here is a photograph of Miss N with Robin Simpson, who looks far too young too play, in real life to play Grandpa.
Thank you to the playhouse for making us feel so welcome. We can’t wait to go back!
Disclaimer : I was not paid to write this post, but was given free tickets to attend the show