Monday, 17 January 2011

Opening in Nottingham

We have just loaded into our second venue of the tour and I have a quiet moment to tell you all about the last week.
On Monday morning we filled the flight-cases with the equipment and the costumes that we had received so far. The truck driver arrived, we loaded the cases on to the truck then headed off to St Pancras station to catch the train to Nottingham, our first venue.
I love the city of Nottingham, nice vintage shops. The venue however is one of my least favourite. Purely the physical structure of it.  It is an ice rink and not built for our purpose really. The room which is used for wardrobe is a changing room, it has bad lighting, is a very odd shape and has fixed benches along the walls. This makes it difficult to put our flight-cases and rails anywhere. We tend to put the cases in the large adjoining shower room. This can be hazardous because if the cases hit the walls the showers come on!
The room is also far away from the stage, so if there is an emergency on stage and something is needed from wardrobe it is a long way to run. We have a sewing kit and various spares back-stage but you can guarantee the one thing you need is the one thing you haven't anticipated. 
There is also no phone or internet reception at that end of the building, tricky when you are opening a show and need to talk constantly to suppliers etc. So last week was a challenge. One thing Nottingham has in it's favour though is the local staff are lovely and having toured there many times it's always nice to see the their friendly faces. 

So having arrived in nottingham we checked in to the hotel then made our  way to the venue. The truck had been and gone and the local crew had deposited our cases outside of wardrobe. We spent a couple of hours unpacking our kit and arranging the room. Later in the week we would be having some more help in the shape of the designer, the supervisor and three sewing assistants, so we needed to make the most of the space we had. 

At the venue we met up with the rest of the crew, many of which have done all the Strictly tours so there was lots of catching up to do. Quite a few new faces as well so more names to learn. The following day we continued to unpack, restock the habadashary and laundry products and set up the quick change areas.
On Wednesday the designer Vicky and supervisor Nicola arrived with the rest of the costumes.  Vicky is a freelance designer but works very closely with a company called DSI who made most of the costumes for this years tour. Their range of costumes and products is amazing and you can see many of the Strictly dancers modelling on their website

DSI Group

Vicky and Nicola gave a great interview for the Arenas website.

Sorry for the rushed post and lack of pictures, things have been hectic. I plan to be snapping away soon though.

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