Posts Tagged With: Opening night

Cats Macao – Curtain Up

There comes a point in every rehearsal period when it’s time to put all the hard work before a live audience. After just 6 rehearsal days, that point was a bit too soon for my liking. It’s not that I wasn’t ready but we only had one dress run and it didn’t go too well, especially the costume quick changes. But in showbiz there is a superstition that if you have a bad dress run it means you will have a good opening and vice versa.

Addressing of Cats

Addressing of Cats

Girls upstage

Girls upstage

Well opening arrived and whether I liked it or not I found myself standing in the auditorium about to run through the audience and scare them with our “green eyes”. It’s actually one of my favourite parts of the show. The audience hears the overture, it’s dark and all of a sudden they see a flash of green cat eyes right up in their faces. On a good night we will get some screams…hehehe.

Vicky's Solo

Vicky’s Solo

Old Deuteronomy

Old Deuteronomy

Back on stage and just before my first entrance from the car boot I usually say a quick prayer asking for a good, safe show and that sort of thing. Being older and wiser, in my prayer this time around I asked for just one thing – to have fun. One thing I have learnt over the years as a performer is that when I get too caught up in the technicalities and worry about achieving perfection, I actually don’t perform well. I’m overly nervous and unfocused. The best thing I can do for myself is just let go and remember why I love performing and then just go with the flow. It’s impossible to have a perfect show so why ask for that?

Vicky's first time at the Jellicle Ball

Vicky’s first time at the Jellicle Ball

Sensual Section

Sensual Section

This is a lesson I vow to pass onto my children with whatever they do in life. They should let their instincts guide them. If they take up something that makes them miserable instead of happy and fulfilled then they should quit it.

Vicky's Solo

Vicky’s Solo

Vicky's Solo

Vicky’s Solo

Vicky's Solo

Vicky’s Solo

The opening performance came and went without a hitch and the double show weekend that followed was tough but, as with everything in life, it passed and the following week was much better.

The Ball

The Ball

The Ball

The Ball

For a start, Monday was a day off and it’s amazing how quickly the body recovers through rest. Aches and pains I thought would grow into injuries disappeared and everything became manageable. Also, I had no understudy calls which meant that even on show days, I only had to be at the theatre at 6:30 for an 8pm show. With an entire day, everyday to relax and explore Macao I certainly couldn’t complain.

Backstage

Backstage

Macao is an interesting place. It’s called the Vegas of the East and for good reason. Huge casino hotels dominate the landscape and while beautiful and opulent, do not really count as sightseeing “attractions” in my mind. I guess at the end of the day if you’ve seen one casino you’ve seen them all so I wasn’t overly keen to explore the famous Taipa strip. Modelled to look like the Vegas strip, Cotai Central joins the famous Venetian, which housed our theatre to the Holiday Inn, our hotel The Conrad and countless other restaurants, gaming centres and designer boutiques so that we literally didn’t have to step foot outside into fresh air for our entire trip. Not really my cup of tea.

On the bridge connecting Cotai Central to the Venetian

On the bridge connecting Cotai Central to the Venetian

Speaking of warm beverages, we did make our way out to Taipa Village, a quaint little section of market-style stores and coffee shops surrounded by some very colourful colonial style buildings. I loved the way Eastern-style stores and Wester-European architecture combined perfectly to create such interesting surroundings.

Colonial Buildings

Colonial Buildings

Taipa Village

Taipa Village

Store Front

Store Front

Farther afield, across the pond, is Old Macao Island. This area was one of the first Portuguese settlements and is over 400 years old so has some great old buildings and landmarks. I didn’t explore them this tour because I came to Macao about a year before and visited the historic Ruins of Saint Paul and the beautiful Senado Square then. Walking through those areas with their cobbled roads, street side cafes and Portuguese signage, you would be forgiven for thinking you were somewhere in Europe.

Senado Square

Senado Square

Ruins of St Paul

Ruins of St Paul

At the end of the day what I really enjoyed was spending time with my husband and baby in a new environment. Sometimes the monotony of home becomes too much, especially with a baby so it was great to have a break from all that but still have something really challenging to get through everyday. I found myself looking forward to each performance and it was great seeing the cast members relax into their roles.

Me and the Rum Tum Tugger

Me and the Rum Tum Tugger

Exhausted after the Ball

Exhausted after the Ball

In my next post I’ll reflect on the overall experience and share some amazing news for the near future…

 

 

 

 

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Manila – Week 4

Opening Night and Taal Volcano 

Week 4 was filled with anticipation as we prepared for Opening Night. We continued with previews from Tuesday until Friday and then officially opened on Saturday 25 August. It is theatre tradition to hand out Chukkas sweets before opening. These are sweets and gifts of good luck. I have no idea where the word Chukkas comes from but it is apparently bad luck to say “good luck” in theatre so instead we say Chukkas or Merde. The best part is coming back to your dressing room and seeing a pile of delicious sweeties on your spot.

Opening went great and the show earned some excellent reviews. Afterwards our hotel hosted the Opening Night Gala Party. It was incredible and had all the ingredients of a VIP event – great food, champagne, media and well-dressed guests. Here are some pictures.

Local celebrities were at the event! 

Jonathan Roxmouth as our Phantom 

The Phantom dancers with Claire Louise in gold as our “Christine”

 

The Gala party was so fun, there was a live band that played all the regular party starters and by the end we were up for a big night out. Luckily for us Tim Yap was at our Gala party and offered to take us to his club, Prive. About 10 of us piled into a mini van and off we went. The club was AWESOME!!!!!! The music was fantastic and we were treated to free champagne all night. Better still each time the bubbly was delivered it had a giant sparkler coming out of it so we all felt pretty special. The club was packed with local celebrities such as TV actors and even Miss Philippines. What a night, definitely wanna go back there!

The next day it was time for our first group adventure to the Taal Volcano, the smallest active volcano in existence. A bus collected us and we drove about 2 hours out of Metro Manila and our tour guide gave us lots of um….facts…about Manila….the WHOLE way there. (Note to tour guides: after 40 minutes on a cramped bus the only sound tourists prefer to hear is the sound of silence).

We arrived at an ocean resort where we swapped our bus for a canoe-like boat that took us on a 20 minute ride across the bay to the strip of land which hosts the Taal Volcano.

 

 

Once across the water we were kitted out with straw sun hats and each got our own horse which would take us up to the top of  the mountain. The trek took about 30 minutes and I felt quite bad for the horses who were grunting and groaning with exhaustion by the end. I am also quite a scaredy-cat on a horse so I couldn’t enjoy the scenery and kept my eyes on the ground the whole way, fearful the horse would lose it footing on the really steep sections of the climb. I opted to walk down the mountain on the way back.

Finally we were at the top. The Taal Volcano is actually a volcano that lies inside a lake and has a lake inside of it, still following?

 

 

 

The view from the top is spectacular! In some places we were able to see steam rising from the ground and the mountain rocks were warm to the touch.

In the neighbouring ocean we could see hundreds of fishing boats docked and on the other side there were tall mountains on the horizon, all providing plenty of great photo opportunities…

When we got back to the resort we had a buffet lunch and then it was time to swim in the HUGE resort pool.

The pool also had an incredible ocean view and I couldn’t resist striking a pose…

After swimming we were treated to more snacks as well as a complimentary cocktail and a free cap from the resort. It was a great day and even more so because we were in a large group. We arrived back at our hotel around dinner time, exhausted, sunburnt and happy.

Categories: Philippines | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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