Saturday, March 28, 2009

We Will Rock You - Manchester Press Night

I was called back for one more apearance the press night where Roger Taylor and Brian May were to play the encore with the cast. I was back to help with the setting of Roger's Drum kit, a failry quick turn around as it was set on a riser that could only be put in place after one of the automation trucks had been struck. It added to the rock and roll feel.

So that's it my time on the gig is done it's been great experience I got a big kick out of PE'ing the prep and assisting Toby in Manchester. I think we worked out aside from some questionable case lables my only major error was the ommision of some 30 meter socas and allowing some 4mm to slip in. Which in my defence didn't think was too bad seen as it was my first big outing and I didn't have a lot of time to do it in.

I'm now at home getting ready for a brief trip to Belfast for Evita then I am looking forward to some quality time at home.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

We Will Rock You - Manchester Opening Night.

What a week! I did arrive a little late to the party, Day 3. The team had had a fairly rough time of it. Unaided by a raft of things that simply did not go acording to plan and not having a lot of time to get it all together there were early starts and late finishes. By the time I arrived they had not long finished getting the PA up there was still a fair sea of flight cases in every available and unavaialble space. Though just so I didn't feel too left out there was a over head camer to be rigged which invilved me climbing along one of the LX trusses and nearly getting flown out with the LX ladders. All very amusing for all involved. The was some PA tweaking a little comms fettling and labeling to keep me busy until the tech started.

Mind you anything we did have to do took twice as long as we had to fish our cases out of the dock to get at anyting. But thankfully there was nothing major to change.

Opening night from where I was sat was pretty dam good, especially considering all that had gone on during this week. Good Times!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ryanair are Rubbish - Discuss!

Now I understand that 50 meters visability isn't ideal for stack them high sell them cheap Ryanair pilots but surely if they have a scheduled departure of 09:55 and 13:15 and the 09:55 does not arrive so can't depart that is cancled. You can't delay somthing that isn't going to happen as the 13:15 is different flight surely? They are Rubbish. Oh and Rob who chose to stay in bed for an extra three hours and fly straight back to London is nearly back in the west end already.

Evita Lononderry - Good times

Oh yes this weekend I was back with my old buddy Andy Waddell, this time we were moving his show Evita from Llandudno to Londonderry. After my five and a half hour train journey from Suffolk we met up for fish and chips followed by ice cream on the sea front Happy Days! The team on the show Andy, John and Rob have made a real improvement on how the kit tours, they have taken a good chunck of time off the out and made it a lot more pleasent.

Due to the distances involved this weekend and playing into the hands of ferrys and so on it was decided to change it to a Tuesday open giving us a travel day on the Sunday. All very civil and grown up given what has been exspected before. This all left us with a lazy afternoon exploring the city, Good Times. On returning to my hotel room I was met with the towel elephant, I like it a real personal touch.

Monday morning came and we set about throwing it all into the Melinium Forum, a really nice building an intresting auditorium lay out but quite nice and very close sounding. We were amazed at how many loud speakers there are in the room I think they must do a lot of cinema stuff in there too. What was quite dissapointing was the delay in the circle were all a bit odd, two were louder than the rest and they all sounded different, quite an achievement seen as they were all off two channels of amp. So it was a delve into the deads waggon for our E0's. But I was really pleased with what we did in there and how it sounded. Oh and did you know they can level out the stalls so you have a flat push from stage level to the rear of the stalls. then once you've dropped the front two rows you can then take the rest down to a 4 degree rake. Now that's really impressive, though I would have loved to be in that design decision meeting. "how much is that going to cost and what will it give us?" ....."Oh ok then sure"

So I am now in Belfast City Airport having got the 0530 bus from Derry awaiting my flight to Liverpool so I can finish of We Will Rock You in Manchester, which news on the grape vine is they have not been having anywhere near as much fun as I've had.

I've also just witnessed a woman pay £300 to check in an extra 25kg onto a Ryanair flight. Now who said all these budget airlines were a good idea?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Good Bye Mary - Final Mary Poppins Fitup Cardiff WMC

Well it's a sad day, Mary Poppins has arrived at her last venue of the tour the Wales Millennium Centre. One of my favourite theatres in the UK I think it is a really easy venue to work in most things have been well thought out, and I think it looks really good. The crew are pleasant and efficient, what more could you ask for. So with all this on our side we set about fitting up the show in a day less than we had done previously. It was a team of usual suspects on our part Tim and the helm, Jim, Andy Dave and Myself. Joined for one night only Shoddy and Jeff who having done the out came down to fleece the delays and surrounds. We were along side the dedicated show crew of Dave, Gippo and Alex.

We made good headway on the Sunday getting the racks in and running in allot of the infrastructure it made a nice change our truck been less than two hours later than advertised, what a joy. As I mentioned the cable routes were fairly painless and with one of the widest stages I've toured into and loads of space sub stage the pressure for flight case tetris. The rest of the fit up followed on in this fairly painless theme. There was a semi late night rigging the up and down LX ladders and space rigging the prosc was a bit tight with the wall, lights and the speakers, but there is a fair amount of stuff to get in a not overly large space, but that is how it always is.

So It is with a glint of sadness that I write this from the tran home, it has been a real pleaure working on this show. It's been great working back along so many old friends it does make it a lot easier when everyone gets along. So until the next time, good bye Mary Poppins, and Hello Freddie!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

We Will Rock You Day one in Production Rehearsals

Oh My, what a day! We did indeed manage to get almost everything out of the door in time there are are only a few things on back order. However the most exciting/dissapointing thing about our first day in rehearsals was the fact that the show deck had been set 2 meters from the wall on it's down stage edge. What's wrong with that you ask, well where do we put our prosc speakers? And where do we put front of house. Oh and when all the creatives want to walk back and fourth across the front of the stage where will they go? But I was sure people much higher up the food chain had maid that decision and I just set about making it happen within those conditions. We also found I had got my male and female the wrong way round one one of my looms, also one of the looms had been made not to my paperwork, so I think I make that a no socore draw. Other than that all went well, we unpacked our full trailer and packed most of it straight back up in the corner.

As the day went on it became evident there were going to be quite a few problems with the show deck being where it was. At 4 o'clock we were asked to go for coffee while they worked it out, only to return to discover we needed to pack up Front of House, and pull back all our cables as the chips were going to turn the set through 90 degrees. I guess that's not really what they wanted to hear after two days of work. So I'm not entireley sure what we'll find thismorning.