My name is Geoffrey the Giraffe, and I’ve just finished an adventure with Dave who worked backstage on a pantomime. He invited me along to learn how to be a member of the sound and light crew in a real theatre.
The night before, we had to check to make sure we had all the equipment. I was a bit worried that someone might steal the laptop, or break it, so I guarded it overnight!
I did a good job because everything was still where it was meant to be and working. We set off for the theatre and Dave told me that the pantomime we would be working on was called ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.
First things first, we had to make sure we knew where all of the songs, sound effects and lights were in the script. It’s not good if everyone is stood on stage in the dark! It’s all very complicated and I’ve not got a very good memory! Luckily Dave knew what he was doing and showed me what to do.
Before the fun of the rehearsal started, we had to do the boring bits! This is apparently something to do with digital audio, but I don’t know what that is… I’m only a beginner after all!
My first proper job was to make sure all the microphones have batteries. It would be very embarrassing if they ran out during the show- No one would hear anything!
This is my friend Emma. She looked after the microphones and some of the props on stage and I got to help. Behind us is the giant costume! It’s soooooo big!
Before we started the dress rehearsal, I met some of the cast members. This is Simple Simon getting into his costume and stage make-up.
This is Ellie, she plays one of the villagers and sings in some of the songs.
This is the beautiful princess. Unfortunately she gets kidnapped by the Giant!
Once everyone was in costume and on stage, we started the dress rehearsal. A dress rehearsal is where we do a complete run through of the play to make sure that everyone knows what they’re doing, the costumes all fit, and the sound and lights all works properly. It’s like a performance but without an audience, because once it starts, you’re not supposed to stop! It was my only chance to see the show properly as the rest of the time I worked back-stage, so I was quite excited. It all looked pretty impressive!
Here I am sitting on the sound desk… It’s very confusing but I like all the flashy coloured lights!
This is called a follow-spot… It’s a really big light which has to be pointed at the actors… Unfortunately it was a bit big for me to use on my own!
It all gets a bit much at times for such a small giraffe! Thankfully I found these headphones and they’re the perfect size for a quick nap!
Back to work again! Here I am talking to Dave in the sound control room- one of the microphones broke so we had to let him know we were changing to a different one! I’m glad this happened in the rehearsal and not the actual performance!
I was beginning to get hungry, so I left the sound and light desk and went backstage to see if I could find something to eat. I found the beanstalk – we need it for tomorrow’s show, but I’m sure they wouldn’t miss a few leaves!
Except I had forgotten about the giant! He somehow managed to creep up on me even with his big clumpy shoes!
He got me!! Thankfully he was actually quite friendly!
Uh oh… Maybe I spoke too soon!
Thankfully he fell asleep, so I made my escape!
I got to take a look around inside the giant costume. It’s all very clever, the actor in here has to pull strings to make his mouth and eyes move!
With the rehearsal finished for the day, there was just time to make some more notes on the script before the performance the next day. “Stay away from hungry giant…”
I had a quick chat with Daisy to see how her day went.
And then it was performance night! Dave and I checked all of the equipment again before the show. That’s when we realised we’d already used hundreds of batteries!
We had a good audience turn out and they all seemed to really enjoy the performance.
I think I did a really good job- all of my sound and light cues were spot on and you could hear and see everyone and everything perfectly. Thank you very much to Dave and all of the cast and crew at the theatre for showing me around and letting me take part- I had a really good adventure! I’m looking forward to seeing what my next adventure will be!