Return of the Mayflower
Finally proper summer temperatures have arrived, just in time for our matinee performances! Thankfully, though, the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton has just had a state-of-the-art air-conditioning system installed, meaning the dressing rooms and stage/pit are all nicely temperate. It helps, also, that Southampton sits by the water, meaning temperatures aren’t as stifling as in other areas of the South of England.
I’ve also been quite lucky that my digs for Southampton are on a boat! The cooling water below means my room stays a lovely temperature. I’ve been looking forward to staying on this houseboat all year - I last stayed with the couple who owned it back when I did the Hairspray tour in 2013. They’ve renovated another part of the boat since then, meaning that I have a rather luxurious en-suite double on the top deck.
Talking of renovations, although it was less than two years that I was last at the Mayflower (with Addams Family), the theatre has had another spruce-up. Adding to the backstage extensions when they extended the dock area in recent years, the auditorium has had a lick of paint. I was also pleasantly surprised to find that they had enlarged the pit, utilising under-stage space that was previously a corridor. The new pit is sensational and I’ve never heard a show sound as good as that out front before! The Mayflower had always been a head-scratcher for sound designers and music supervisors, but it looks as though future productions should have a very lovely stay at this venue.
The show itself ticks along nicely. Cast are starting to audition for new projects and everyone backstage is asking about post-tour plans. There are less than two months to go until the tour is done and dusted! We played a rather hilarious post-show game the other day which involved jumbling up little-known facts about our colleagues and then matching up with the correct name. I only managed to guess 2 people out of the entire company! The winner got 20, no idea how, but it was a great chance to find out just how little you actually know about the people you’ve worked with for the past 18 months!
July sees us play Southampton for one more week, then we have a well-earned final holiday week before we open in Norwich. It’s also that time of year again when I pop to Manchester to be a part of Showcase. Oh, and I turn 37! Who’d-a-thunk-it…