Archive for January, 2012

Panto is finally over!

January 12th, 2012 No comments

This is ever so slightly overdue, but here it is anyway.

For the latter part of last year, it seemed that every spare minute I had was spent on various projects in preparation for Nairn Drama Club’s 2011 Christmas panto, i.e. fitting 32A sockets, relocating panel heaters, fixing 21 emergency lights, relocating audio amplifiers, PAT testing, designing and hiring/buying the lighting, planning and buying pyrotechnics, designing the sound effects, planning and buying video equipment, amongst other things… All of this wouldn’t have been too bad if I hadn’t managed to get a full time job in the middle of this! Anyway, it all worked out and the show went on.

Every year we try to improve on the last panto and this year for ‘Snow White’ we had two extra elements – video and pyrotechnics. The pyro was needed for a couple of magic spells, and the video was needed for the magic mirror.

This was the first time I’d used pyro in the theatre, as there are two key things against us – smoke detectors and low stage height. We did some testing very early on to see if we could use theatrical flashes for some magical effects, and to our surprise we found we could safely use the medium sized ones within the space we had available, as long as we isolated a couple of smoke detectors. Additionally for added effect during the walkdown, a Chinese Confetti Airburst was added.

The design of the magic mirror caused a degree of hassle, but eventually it was agreed to simply use a flat screen tv rather than to try and use front or rear projection, as the director originally wanted. All this then took was the purchase of a long HDMI cable and it was largely sorted.

The run of shows went well, and everybody said it was the best one yet! Will I do the panto again this year – who knows – I always say never again, but somehow end up doing it none the less!

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