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We’re now heading towards the end of our second week of shows here at the Mayflower in Southampton and so far it has been great.

We had quite a heavy week last week – having to tech Act I in 4 hours, and less for Act II !!! And that takes some doing as the show is full of Magic, Illusions, large set pieces on trucks, heavy flying sets and so on. I have to admit that apart from keeping out of the way of the trucks, and not getting knocked on the head by the set flying in, I don’t have too much to worry about with the technical side of things, Other members of the cast have a much harder job. The Ghost of Christmas Past (yes Sheri – that’s YOU!) is involved with two of the main illusions in the show, so has a much harder time of it… but she is brilliant at it none-the-less. And no, I’m not only saying that because I know she will be reading this!

Shane has done a great job of not only learning what is a massive role (he doesn’t really get off stage for 2 hours) but bringing the character to life. There is still a large bit of Shane Richie in there, but he has made Scrooge at turns bitter, and dark, and vulnerable. It’s been great to watch him getting into the role and making us laugh too. The audiences have been fantastic as well. I think we heard that the show has broken box office records for the Mayflower, so that’s cool. And having a lively, excited audience for every show has been a joy – even if they do audibly groan when we appear at stage door, because the only person they want to see is Shane!!

We will be moving up to Birmingham next week, to what I think is our ‘hardest’ venue, because the stage and wing space at the Alex is going to make things a little tight. Hey ho – that’s half the fun I guess!

I’m really loving being back in a show again – it has been too long I think! It certainly helps that the cast are all great fun, and we just have a really good time doing the show. Especially the booth singing – by god, we’re good! 😉

Apart from the current Digs nightmare that is taking place, everything is going along very nicely. Looking forward to the rest of the shows here (especially as I have M&D in on Thursday and friends in on Saturday – BIG wig action will be happening!) and seeing what the move up to the Midlands brings.

Stephen Weller

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