Having the chance to work on New Perspectives touring production of A Christmas Carol is altogether exciting, hard work and a valuable experience of working on a rural touring show. And I get to be part of a well formed, slick-working team made up of Stage Manager, Jack Robson, Actor Kern Falconer the Actor and myself; the muscle… Well, not really but it’s certainly a work out, and hopefully I’m bringing a bit of festive cheer (and updates on I’m A Celebrity Get me Out of Here) whether they like it or not!
As part of last years STEP UP Creatives Ensemble 2011 / 12 we toured to four venues with our production Goldfish. We visited two theatres which were comfortable and familiar and we also visited two rural venues that New Perspectives had strong relationships with. The days when we visited these rural venues were longer and involved more set building, but we considerably more exciting and rewarding. It was also great to meet the local promoters and hear about previous shows that had toured there – ultimately we were made to feel particularly welcome and appreciated.
Getting a call from New Perpsectives Production Manager, Mandy Ivory-Castile with the offer to work on the show for the six week tour of A Christmas Carol was both nicely timed (having just finished working on two shows in Sheffield) and an amazing opportunity to learn about touring into a broader range of venues. The bonus ingredients were the classic Christmas story, the way it had been so wonderfully presented for the stage and a few cool magic tricks thrown in. The team have welcomed and supported me and as an extended bonus of being part of the Creatives Ensemble, I’m getting more experience, confidence and technical knowledge… Oh and I got to drive a van to and from Warwickshire.
On our travels we’ve met some lovely venue promoters, visited modern and renovated village halls and churches, and had quite a selection fo soups and sandwiches! We’ve also been grateful for the height of the New Perspectives van, particularly on flooded roads. Early starts and long drives are familiar and while the ‘get-outs’ each night (which is when we dismantle out sets) are getting tighter and tighter, the offer of an extra hand for loading up is welcomed – as is a promoter poised and ready with a Henry vacuum cleaner!
I write this during the preset of the show awaiting Front of House clearance in one of our most northern venues on the tour. I’m fully embracing the festive spirit that the show instil… so Merry Christmas to you all!
Jenny Crowder, Assistant Stage Manager on A Christmas Carol and participant of STEP UP Creatives 2011/ 12