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Neil White’s latest tour blog  
In the ninth instalment of his Sound of Music UK tour blog - the first of 2010 - Neil looks back at the cast's time in Manchester.
Neil White


Happy New Year!!

After at least 5 people winging at me over that last couple of days – I thought I had better update my blog!

Well…it’s the last days of Manchester and what a fun festive season it has been. Working over Christmas is always quite hard but when you have a fun and lovely company it always feels much better.

We opened in Manchester with the most amazingly vocal audiences – lots of booing of Nazi’s and cheering with the Captain and Maria’s kiss – you would be really surprised how the reaction to the show changes every night but that is the challenge of doing live theatre.

It has been really great to be back at the Palace Theatre – it’s a theatre I haven’t really worked at much but it has a great crew and a really lovely Front of House team. I have felt really sorry for Front of House over that last two weeks as the theatre’s foyer is always colder than it is outside and the poor staff at the front door have been freezing checking the tickets. The theatre management are always out front to welcome the audience, again shivering away.

Just before Christmas it was our show Christmas Party – and the company put on their finest for a great evening. David Ian (Producer) and the rest of our office team came up from London to have a fun night with our Nuns and Nazis…

Christmas week was good fun – we had matinees most days and of course the dreaded Boxing Day matinee. It is always hard to leave your family on Boxing Day to travel back to do a show, especially when you are still full from the day before, but everyone is in the same position and you normally always have a good day. Between shows we had a big company buffet and our secret Santa – everybody got really good, thoughtful (and not too rude) presents.

It has been a really busy time for theatre in Manchester over Christmas with not only The Sound of Music, but White Christmas at The Lowry Theatre and Aladdin at the Opera House. As we all had friends in both of these shows we organized an inter company party at the amazing Hilton Sky Bar. It was a really fun evening and brilliant to know that even in the current economic climate all three shows have been doing capacity business. Theatre certainly has been alive in Manchester this year.

After New Year can be a really bad time in theatre but we have been playing to full houses and again with lovely audiences and even with snow and ice the company have made it for every show. I had a very amusing 4 ½ mile walk through ice and snow last Tuesday with Eddie the stage manager , and from our efforts to remain upright we think we are going to enter ‘ Dancing  on Ice ‘ next year!

We have had 3 new additions to The Sound of Music family, Summer, Emily and Annabel who have joined us as ‘Swing’ children. Swings are understudies and normally cover multiple roles in the show. So they have been rehearsing hard with Gavin, Laura and Adam (our children’s team) so they are ready to step in incase of illness, travel problems etc. Annabel has already been on stepping into the role of Marta very quickly at the interval last week! Our fantastic children as ever cope with changes very quickly.

We are now getting ready for the trip to Edinburgh and the huge Edinburgh Playhouse, leaving the Palace Theatre free for some French musical called Les Miserables

Edinburgh Playhouse has two towers with nine floors of dressing rooms (and no lift) – am really looking forward to the climb to the Company Office each day (not) but at least I’ll have a window there. The company are all going to get really fit with the stairs!! So many things are planned for Edinburgh, Ghost walks, Disney Parties, and also Edinburgh is Dame Maggie Preece’s last venue so we have the excitement of meeting our new ‘Mother Abbess’ and also the rehearsals…

Neil x

For ticket information and the latest news, visit The Sound of Music UK tour website.

Posted on: 20th January 2010

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