Dolly Williams goes on tour with the Trocks, here’s part 2 of her diary on the road.
Its travel day and after we have checked everyone is on the coach, its off to Bradford! En route I picked the brains of the team for insider tips and plan the next few days at the Alhambra. We check into the lovely Jury’s Inn, unpack and spend the rest of the day relaxing or in my case studying.
Monday morning and by the time I arrive at the theatre around 11am, the tech crew have already been in early to start the get in and get the stage ready. The stage tech work from 9am – late rigging the stage and focussing lights. Its amazing to watch.
All the staff at the Alhambra in Bradford seem lovely and very dedicated to the venue. When you go through stage door you are greeted with a smile and the ladies even change the colour of the lights in the reception desk to match the colour of their outfits that day.
I am assigned the Cinderella dressing room as an office and as there is no performance today, I spend the day doing admin, dreaded emails and organising things ready for tomorrow. When you are out on tour not only do you have to deal with the issues from your current tour but also prepare and organise for the fore-coming tour. I think it is an endless battle of emails and communication for Heather but she takes it in her stride
Opening night at Bradford means open rehearsal for the public to watch, company class with the lovely Daniel de Andrade from Northern Ballet, a 7:30pm curtain call and then a Q & A after the show with The Trocks ballet master, Paul Ghiselin. Moreover its Pancake day and I challenge myself to find good pancakes in Bradford.
Whilst in Bradford I have been put in charge as Tour Manager so it is my job to check merchandise, liaise with the Front of House to ensure that will details have been organised, organise company tickets, and organise the selling of programmes. The staff at Alhambra help me with these tasks and I even got chance to interview some of staff to get a better insight into how the venue is run. A big thank you to the staff at Alhambra for sharing their time and information with me, it was very helpful.
The show goes up without a hitch and the boys perform to their usual awesome standard. Something that struck in Bradford is how natural the boys appeared on tour. They seem very comfortable with living on the road and moving to a new venue every couple of days. I don’t think most people realise how exhausting it can be with unusual working hours and long coach trips. I asked some of the crew why they did it and they all responded that it was what they loved doing.
On tour it can be quite difficult to get healthy but we found a great café shop in Bradford just up from the theatre called Safari. They served very reasonably priced healthy food and I think the entire crew ate there for two days! I even managed to grab pancakes but had to save them for after the show. At 11pm I got the pancakes and they were very worth the wait! Happy Pancake day!
Another show today and I get dragged into participating in the master class, an hour and a half ballet class on the Alhambra stage. I haven’t danced in years so really enjoyed getting back to the barre and was smart enough to not take my camera so there is no photo of me in my dance gear. Mwahaha.
Between master-class and the show I got a sneak peek into wardrobe and interviewed Geoff Strurdivant, Wardrobe Supervisor for the Trocks. The wardrobe was neatly organised and I personally loved the smell of laundry. Being surrounded by all the pretty costumes was a photographer’s dream so I got snap happy. The interview should be up soon for a behind the scenes special.
Today was my last show with The Trocks as early tomorrow I have to head back to university for classes. It’s a bit sad as I have loved working with the Dance Consortium and The Trocks. Both companies are professional and widely respected in the industry and I felt quite lucky to get this chance. To go on tour or be involved in tour management you have to be dedicated, most definitely flexible, considerate of others and really love people. I don’t think that everyone can take on the challenge but for those that can; it can be a rewarding life.
After the show the crew dissembled the stage again, and it was transported overnight to the next venue by the lovely Ian the Trock.
There’s just enough time for a quick glass of red before bed.
Thursday morning and its up at stupid o’clock and a quick dash to the coach to head back to Liverpool. The rest of the team will leave around noon for a long coach trip to Brighton and I have a day of classes ahead of me.
The week flew by but I am seriously enjoyed it. Heather has given me all her insider tips and I am hungry to learn more and do it again. I can only end my on tour blog with a massive thank you to all the interesting and lovely people that I have worked with over the past week, with special shout outs to Heather, Tiddles, Ian and all the Trocks production team – Isabel, Barbara, Emily and Geoff. It is not goodbye, it is see you soon