Unsung Heroes

Building the Stage

Before becoming part of UMT, I never really considered what it took to put on a show which is as professional as we can make it. Even then, I did not realise what went on behind the scenes, week in and week out, to just keep things ticking over. For instance, Jane has been busily washing the cushions which we use in the Theatre to attempt to make the seats more comfortable. She must have washed about 250 of them to date and then dried them and rebagged them for use at the next show. This is in addition to her duties as Secretary, arranging rehearsal venues, pianists, auditions, etc, etc, etc and also our fabulous Programme.

Building the Stage

Andy, our stage manager, and Anita, our Chairman, recently went to a material warehouse and managed to buy 25 yards of purple velvet type material for £34. Not bad, considering the same material is available in a local shop for £6 per metre (I know, back to the iPod that is £6 per square 3.28084 feet!). Andy also managed to source some very realistic roses and a turntable plinth to house them for the show. All we need now is a round, glass exhibition jar and we’ve cracked it, not the jar, I mean, we have got what we need for the wilting rose. Andy sorted out the gallons of croatian stone coloured paint, the merlin coloured paint and some horrible brown stuff which we are using for the door colouring.

Then we have the Treasurer, ACP, who cheerfully purchased 600 feet of 2″ by 1″ timber with numerous 3/8″ exterior plywood as well as a substantial quantity of 30 millimetre heavy duty plywood which now grace the magnificent stage stairs. This is also in addition to his duties as the Treasurer looking after our funds and also arranging the printing of the posters and the tickets which we use as show publicity and the most important bit, the bringer of the sausages and buns to the weekend working parties.

Recent Publicity Poster for Snow White Panto just before demolition party moved in. (Image courtesy of Google Maps)

Talking of which we now welcome Daniel as the new publicity chap. He has been thrust in at the deep end and will shortly be taking delivery of the 50 or so publicity boards which we display in and around Urmston, Flixton, Davyhulme, Stretford and Sale. No mean task and I must remember to give him the cable ties I have in my shed. Of course, Daniel is also an actor like me. He is playing a couple of character roles in Beauty and the Beast including Monsieur D’Arque which, I have often reminded you is a difficult song because the version I downloaded off iTunes is different to the version in my script. No doubt, we will get to do it soon. Good singer though. I am certain the song will be a hit with the audience.

A special mention of Gordon, our Membership Secretary who beavers away in the background getting the errant membership fees from us. It is nice to know that you can be cajoled into paying your membership and you still feel happy. That is Godon’s gift and ability that does that. He is brilliantly efficient and long may he continue to be so.

So now to tickets. I have had numerous requests for tickets that I am now allocating seats although I am not yet taking payment and I have no tickets to give out. Just means I need to keep a list of all who have “bought” and those still on my list to contact. The great thing about UMT is the repeat, regular patrons who order their tickets for the next show in the week after the show we have just done. I would honestly love to buy them all a medal and a drink but there are that many now I would need a mortgage. However, it is great for UMT. I still think we are great value at £10 for adults and £8 for concessions including Senior Citizens, Children and party bookings. A great time to be had by all even if your bum does go numb towards the end.

Singing in the Rain at Pennybridge.

In the final paragraphs I need to mention Doreen from Costume and Eileen from Props. Both onerous tasks of sourcing various items which need to look like the real thing for a fraction of the cost. I know one of the props is a dog legged clencher and, not only do I know what one is, I have one in my tool box!! Real antler horns…not a problem, an invention for Belle’s father….not a problem, we’ll just make it.

And so it goes on. The 6 performances over 5 days is only the tip of the iceberg. The three days of get in and two days of get out before and after the show are achieved by willing helpers and without them we would struggle. But the real effort often comes in between the productions. Lest we forget!!

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~ by UMT Stage on September 1, 2010.

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