Act the third
It’s OK, we got through it. In fact, as we approach that Difficult Second Weekend phase, I think we can be satisfied with our performances to date. But will we remember every one of Cerys’ last-minute instructions? Can we attain that elusive “extra notch”? Will we all remember our lines (you know who you are)? I have the luxury of being able to read from a script but will that dog-eared document survive another weekend on the sound-desk/in the bag next to my coffee cup? Will I finally snap and hurl said coffee over bloody cloud-children in their fluffy white costumes? The tension, so quickly released last Sunday, starts to re-build. Remorsesly.
Meanwhile, some good audience reviews, none of which I can remember but then, neither can you. “We really enjoyed it” (Dot Summers); “The Giant was particularly good” (Linda Healey); “How did you make your voice sound so scary?” (small boy); “I don’t like it mummy please take me away” (toddler on opening night — reSULT!).
With Jack & Jill. Linda says, harshly I feel, that I look like Stephen Hawking.
Act the second
We open this evening. I think audiences will enjoy it; it’s funnier, better acted and directed (and mercifully shorter) than any pantomine I’ve been involved in to date. But I am becoming quite the divo; home after yesterday’s dress rehearsal I realised my too-loud ‘giant’ voice would never last for the four performances expected of us this weekend. So it was honey and hot lemon, dahling, and a vow of silence for today.
As director, Cerys has done a grand job. Creative and decisive, we all know where we stand and what is expected of us. God listen to me, I’m writing as if this is important. The kids are great too and I remember how, 20 years ago, the boys enjoyed taking part (Adam still acts from time to time). On the other hand, Caitlin was scarred for life.
So we have songs, slapstick and some cutting-edge satire. What more could you ask for?
Big up to the sound guys, Mark, Andy & Joe. Oh and (spoiler alert) I predict that by the end of the run, playgrounds around the country will ring to the strains of, ‘”and what sort of beans are those?” “Why they’re MAGIC beans!”‘ You’ll see what I mean if you buy a ticket from the usual sources. Oh yes you will!
Act the First
Johnny has been seduced out of retirement to appear as the Giant in the CADS production of Jack & the Beanstalk, by Jack Northcott. Performances planned for the last weekend of January and the first weekend of February, 2018.
Johnny says, “I am delighted to once again take on this
pitiful pivotal role. I recall with pride and some affection my previous appearance as the Giant, back in 1978. I was part of a groundbreaking new interpretation of the traditional fairy tale, re-imagined by Peter Christopherson, and my character (Empreror Pong the Pestilent) was required during Act 1 to strike terror into the hearts of small children in the audience. Later, magically reduced to a more manageable stature, he was able to balance inhumanity with pathos and finally win their hearts.”
This historic clip will give you a flavour of Johnny’s ability to bring such a complex character to life:
“This time, as the Giant Butternut Trump, I will be projecting my character from off-stage. However I eagerly anticipate reducing junior audience members to tears through the power of my voice.”
Incidentally, Johnny would like to point out, especially to his legions of American fans, that the name of his character was scripted long ago and is not intended to portray anyone, especially not any US President, living or dead. It just means he farts a lot. Indeed, such is his capacity for coughing his rompers during each performance, that Johnny has found it necessary to employ his own Body Gas Stuntman: