The Night Before Christmas – kind of

Joel Sams and Gabby Douglas in Round the Twist (rehearsal shot)

‘twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,…not even a mouse’

Zach Lee and Joel Sams - rehearsal shot

Strange I know to be quoting Clement Clarke Moore’s famous poem in November but for Eastern Angles 22nd November is in effect the night before Christmas as Round the Twist opens tomorrow night (ed erm well today now!). And its certainly not true that nobody has been stirring in the run up….

…over the last few days the theatre has been a hive of frenetic activity. At various times the foyer has been filled with last minute props, cases of wine and orange juice. At the last minute the Christmas tree arrives.

The EA Foyer - the chaos before the calm!!

Back in the theatre a horse race is replayed over and over again (those dam fillies just won’t arrive in the order you tell them). The coffee pot has been on continuous supply mode as the creative team stutter through the tech then drive through the dress. Sugar intake has been high. Everyone is walking around with a slightly dazed look – broken by regular and frenetic laughter and the oacasional pizza. Were a certain Mr Dickens to wonder in from Gateacre Rd right now he’d certainly have plenty to write about.

You can read about what Ivan Cutting (director) had to said of the show here – and my bumbling attempt at capturing the show for Ipswich Community Radio can be heard here:-

The Guardian’s @lyngardner put it much more succinctly when she listed us as one of her tips of the week (with nice mentions for NIE Hansel and Gretel & @Pilot_Theatre’s Blackbird (which I remember enthralling me in the West End) at the @Mercurytheatre)

(On a side note there is a rather quaint connection between one of #Roundthetwist actors and Pilot theatre’s artistic director @marcusromer…)

It seems like only yesterday that the company gathered for the first time to read through a script by one Oliver Nicklefield (nothing like a bit of mystery before you even start!). Here’s what Joel Sams (who plays said Mr Nicklefield) had to say on day one….

Round the Twist video blog 2 – Joel Sams from matthewlinley on Vimeo.

On the same day here’s our designer Ian Teague:-

Untitled from matthewlinley on Vimeo.

[bizarrely the Aged P himself has been on quite a journey – from actor to puppet to cut entirely back to actor]

During week two of rehearsals I caught up with Gabby Douglas – the juvenile lead!!

And here to bring us up to date towards the end of Act week 3 is Zach Lee who finds himself with the joyous task of playing the Dickensian villan.

So now its all hands to the deck to be ready and able (as Dickens would put it) for opening night. But even already we’ve had our first review – dress rehearsal photographer (and responsible for the rehearsal pics shown here) @mikekwasniak tweeted:-

‘Saw Oliver Nicklefield’s glowing testimonials last night! Thank you @easternangles #roundthetwist – totally hilarious dress rehearsal. Go see!’

Can’t think of a better note to end on – now off in search of the Bah Humbug!


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