PANTO UPDATE

If you’ve read my last post, then you’ll know that Alex and I are back in our local pantomime company and are part of their next production of Aladdin! I can’t believe that this time next week the show will be well underway and we will have an audience to showcase all our hard work to.

For a bit of context, we were a part of Abergavenny Pantomime Company from 2009 until 2016 where we moved to Worcester for university. This is our first show back in Abergavenny and I have to say I’m loving being back with the company and can’t wait to get back on stage in my favourite theatre.

This year I am playing Princess Jasmine and Alex is playing the evil Abanazar. I have auditioned for principle girl since I was about 15 years old and I honestly never thought I would get the chance to do it so the whole process has been a dream come true. I’ve always wanted a role that showcases my singing and I know my family have always wanted me to sing a song on stage by myself – my nanny Jenny literally jumped for joy when I told her I had been cast as the princess and would get lots of things to sing.

I am thrilled (and extremely nervous) to be singing ‘If I were a boy’ by Beyonce in the show. It’s a challenging song that spans across the lower and upper parts of my range but I am hoping I will rise to the challenge and do myself and everyone proud. I have an awful habit of literally shaking when I’m nervous which makes my voice wobble so I’m working on getting that under control and practicing a bit of self-confidence (or fake it until I make it). I also get to do ‘Good as Hell’ by Lizzo with my faithful ladies in waiting and we have amazing, Beyoncesque choreography that is honestly keeping me up at night thinking about. I love it so much, but at the same time I am really not a dancer and it is not something that comes naturally to me so I am just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other and praying that the confidence and sass will come soon – wish me luck as no one wants to pay to see Princess Jasmine dancing like a potato.

Alex has some amazing songs too and it’s been really fun going through them together and practicing. I’m an expert on Abanazar’s lines as we have run them so many times over the last few weeks. Rehearsals are going well and we just have a few finishing touches to do/ a few things we need to polish but I know it’s going to be a fab show.

This week we are in the theatre, practicing the show on stage which is so exciting. I love seeing everything come together and you really start the feel that show week buzz as the anticipation builds. Every day we come in to a new piece of set or a new back drop and I’m like a little kid. The creative team and back stage crew have done such an amazing job and the set that has been made honestly looks brilliant – I can’t wait for everyone to see it.

We also got costumes this week and I’m in love. These are probably the nicest costumes I have seen for a panto and I feel so glamorous and princessy when I wear them. Shoutout to my nana who is taking the costumes in for me as she always does – she’s a little angel. The finale costumes are so pretty and sparkly and I’m honestly living my best Disney princess life. I’m really excited to run the show in costumes and with lights etc as I am hoping it will shift some of my nerves. Here’s a sneak peak at one of them!

However, I am starting to flag a little bit is has to be said as I am working 37 hours this week, have uni and other commitments and rehearsals most evenings. My day is currently in the car by 6:30am at the latest, starting work at 7:30am, leaving Hereford at 5pm and heading straight to the theatre for 6pm or 7pm until 10ish. Luckily, I have next week off as annual leave so I can be a bit more sociable and be reunited with sleep!

This show is also special as so many people are able to come and support us. My family as so excited and are coming out in full force. I think Saturday night they are almost taking up a whole row. My dad is also getting to see this show which makes me so happy. Since having his stroke, he hasn’t been able to see shows I have been in, including the ones Alex wrote and I musically directed, but as the theatre in Abergavenny is accessible he is able to come along. Some of my besties from uni are also coming which is amazing – I miss them so much and can’t believe I’m going to look out into the audience on Tuesday night and see their faces! My mum has also got me writing a list as long as my arm of people who are coming to give shout outs to which I am updating everyday!

If you haven’t guessed from this post I am basically very excited and having a great time enjoying the final push before we embark on an 8-show show week.

Wish us luck!

Meg xo

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