Massive apologies for taking so long to blog about the ice tour. Life has thrown up a huge change for me in the last year in the form of a wonderful relationship. This of course has meant less free time than ever before so the blog got pushed back and back until it felt too late. However i have now decided it is never too late after all and so i am going to make time to blog my theatrical adventures once more.
Rehearsals as usual started the day after the TV show finished. We descended on Elstree like vultures on a fresh corpse (sorry Halloween spirit got me there). Generally we have a week at the studios using the wardrobe room and the rehearsal rink, while the TV set is pulled apart and trucked out around us. The current skaters are pretty tired at this point but always excited about the prospect of the tour and the old hands that return are always full of beans so it is an exciting time.
I had mixed feelings about the tour this year as my 40th birthday fell in this first week and i had no choice but to work. However champagne and cake were presented and i was able to take the evening off and have a lovely dinner with my team and my new fella.
The team this year included Sandra who i have worked with many times, on The snowman, French and Saunders, Britain's got talent and Strictly come dancing. She is a talented seamstress, wonderful with the artists and a brilliant friend. I don't know how i would have survived a lot of the jobs we have done together if it wasn't for her.
The third member of the team was Vicki, she had dressed for me on Strictly and impressed me but i knew very little about her really. She turned out to be perfect. Another talented seamstress, she was quick thinking in an emergency and despite looking like butter wouldn't melt she had a sharp wit that had me howling with laughter and left many of the seasoned crew boys dumbstruck.
My lovely team Vicki and Sandra on a rare day out at the Giant's Causeway near Belfast. Here we ran into Chris, Jayne, Karen and Biggins. It was the day after the end of tour party which had taken place at their hotel. They filled us in on all the gossip that had taken place after we left.
Back to rehearsals, During the week in Elstree final fittings take place with all the cast, we sew hooks and bars on the bottom of all the ladies tights so they can be fastened once they are stretched over the boot. long zips are put in the inside legs of the men's trousers so they can be quick changed, it takes far too long to unlace the skates so all costumes must stretch or unfasten in a way that enables the skater to keep their skates on. Costumes arrive on a daily basis and the flight cases arrive at some point in the week and are loaded.
During this week we would get to see some of the rehearsals and start to get really excited about the tour, especially the opening number that gets more ambitious every year.
So that will be the subject of my next post.