Staff day out: Sand in the sandwiches and glittery dancers on the eye
Date: 30 August 2012
Sand in the sandwiches and glittery dancers on the eye – that was our staff day out last week. There has been a tradition at the Theatre Royal for years when we shut up shop for a day and, together with some of our volunteers, take off in a coach to have a day out. It’s a great opportunity to relax before the main season starts. The Theatre Royal is such an extraordinary family, with so many really good friends who can support each other in times of stress, and I am sure that events like today help to make sure the support structure is in place. So why sand and glitter…
We went to Cromer for the day. Hopped on a coach and we were sitting on the beach with lashings of food and little tomatoes by midday. There was paddling (and even one very brave swimmer from Development). It was a great gathering.
After lunch some of us did a busman's holiday – we took our seats at the 35th annual Summer Seaside Special (which runs until 29th Sept if what follows whets your appetite). I last went to the, I guess, 20th season when I used to take my two children to Cromer for a couple of day trips during our annual summer week in a cottage in Norfolk. I was really looking forward to returning to this tradition, and introducing some colleagues to Variety Cromer style.
We had a great time – and wow the dancers led by Andy Young worked their socks off. The audience was packed, and I think we were a bit of a slow house to get started. But by the end the company got a great response and a very happy group of locals, WI groups, and holidaymakers wandered back into the sunshine of Cromer.
Our team especially enjoyed the family comedy patter of Dain Cordean (not to mention his conjuring skills ably assisted by Sophie who variously has her head rotated 360 degrees whilst still smiling, and she is dissected into 4 parts and returned to full glamorous splendour). It was also fun to see Ben Langley who is a longstanding member of the Covent Garden Street Performers and more recently creator of the Ha Ha Hamlet, Hitler and Holmes shows. Dan and Ben really brought the show and the audience alive, and help together to keep the great tradition of Variety going strong.
We too wandered out into the early evening streets of Cromer happy, and armed with a Norfolk Gooseberry Icecream I was a happy staff outing leader. On returning to Bury St Edmunds the party continued for some, and home for others. It’s a great thing to do to help the family stay together.
Now the Mansfield Park cast have arrived in town, everything ratchets up as we prepare for the premiere, the days get longer, the pressure gets greater, and we all work in our own areas to make the big productions and every show the best it can be. Sandy sandwiches and glittering dancers help remind us that we do Theatre for the fun, passion, and audience response…we sure don’t do it for the money, pension, and easy life.
Here’s to next summer…where will the Theatre Royal family go ?
- by Chris Grady
Any opinions expressed above do not represent the view of Whatsonstage.com nor any of its staff or contributors beyond the bylined author.
|Chris Grady is a freelance arts manager/trainer working with Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, Mountview Academy of Theatre, London and Stage Entertainment Licensed Productions, Holland. An associate of Wonderbird EU and in development for StoryMusic2020. Over 30 years he has run, built, raised money for, programmed and invented for theatres; conceived festivals, produced trade fairs, shows and galas; taught plate-spinning and sold computers. He runs a series of mentor/coaching sessions for emerging creatives who work in theatre, art, film, dance, spirituality, conjuring, astrology and beyond. There are more things in heaven and earth, good reader, than are dreamed of in your philosophy. Look out beyond Zone 2, beyond the establishment, beyond the horizon, over the edge. The future’s bright and entirely unpredictable.|
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