I am considering writing a book about the stages in venues throughout Britain. I know I am taking a bit of a risk by touring with a show that requires me to dance barefooted, but I could have never imagined how each stage can be so different from all the others.
Last Thursday at the Stables in Milton Keynes we had our first sold out show, so needless to say we were all very excited to perform. I was stuck in the back of a people carrier and couldn’t see much, causing me to be quite car sick from all the roundabouts by the time we got to the venue (just for fun, google Milton Keynes roundabout), and catching from fresh air with the crew who were having a discussion about vomit and decaying bodies didn’t help much.

When the stage was cleared by the people of the daytime panto performance, we started unloading the van and setting up the stage. Because this show was so close to Christmas, we had decided to do a little something extra, so for me setting up the stage this time involved detangling Christmas lights and finding a replacement for the string of lights that was brand new but didn’t work. I had to get my band to sign a hundred Christmas cards and our costume lady to iron a giant Christmas stocking.

The stage at The Stables is quite square, with the audience sitting on three sides of the stage. That in itself means I have to take some time during the day to see how I can make certain things work best. The stage looked well taken care of and clean, which was a relief after the stage with the metal screws and edges in Watford. When I was doing my warming up and stretches though, I noticed I was sitting in some uncooked rice. The local staff instantly hoovered the stage for me. I started going through some of the routines on the odd-shaped stage, but only after a couple of minutes I scared my band members with a loud thump, which was me slipping and sliding over some of the flour on the stage. I tested the whole stage to see which spots were slippery, and the local staff was kind enough to instantly mop the stage for me too.

After a lot of technical issues during our sound check, we were ready to play but keeping our fingers crossed everything would go well. I loved the fact that I could see so many of the audience’s faces in the crowd during the show. Our special December surprise was obviously a live rendition of December will be magic again, and it was the perfect venue to hand out Christmas cards to the audience! With all the Christmas lights, it was starting to feel like Christmas (though I must tell you: wearing a furry winter coat and hat after 90 minutes of dancing under stage lights in itself feels more like wearing a winter coat during a heat wave). It was a bit hard to get the whole audience to wave along with me at the end of the song, but it was a big reward when everybody joined me!

The days after the show were a bit hectic, as usual in December. I am back in Holland now, preparing for next year. But first let me wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy 2015!

1 comment

  • Steve

    Steve milton keynes

    It was a memorable show and a great way to start Christmas, please come back to see us again in MK next year.

    It was a memorable show and a great way to start Christmas, please come back to see us again in MK next year.

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