Last week we welcomed our first member event of the year, kicking off the calendar with a visit to the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich.
Our lucky balloted members were in for a treat with a behind the scenes tour and meet the cast session with the performers of the rock ‘n’ roll panto, Cinderella. As the cold winter sun began to fade, our members arrived at the theatre where an offering of tea and coffee was given to warm their cockles before the tour began.
We started at the focal point of the theatre – the stage, where our members stood in the spotlight, looked out into the crowd and were ready to begin their theatrical debut. In reality this was a tour and not a performance so the seats were empty and there were no expectations to break out into song and dance– but nonetheless the view of the theatre from the stage was inspiring and great to experience the other side of the show.
We were escorted beneath the stage, where we got to see the how the lifts works to enable the fairy godmother to pop out of the floor during performances. Our backstage access all areas experience included viewing the stage from the top of the theatre, a look at the lighting rigs and seeing some of the operational tasks which commence during performances.
9 of the 10 cast members gathered on stage whilst we took our seats (at the front rows of course) before a Q&A session took place where we asked lots of questions about the production, the demands of performing and the excitement of drawing in a crowd night after night. The cast were totally expressive of their passion for performing arts, their love of the panto and the enjoyment they get from being part of a fantastic show.
The cast had not long come off stage from the matinee so the fact they took time out of their personal break to speak with us before their evening performance was incredible and a privilege to have access to.
Our visit to the New Wolsey Theatre was a wonderful experience and just another highlight of the fabulous events offer as part of our All In programme. I look forward to another visit!