By Tim Stedman (a.k.a. Wishee Washee)
Always nerve wracking that first day. New names and faces and some faces of which I should remember the names. The staff were as welcoming as ever, embarrassing me with photocopies of a half page spread in the Harrogate Advertiser with my gormless face leaping out to scare its readership.
‘Read throughs’ are terrifying : do you just read it calmly or try and perform it? Half the cast I know. Centre state Lara Denning the ‘named part’, a veteran of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and stepped into the breech in 2004/5 for Mother Goose when another actress fell terribly ill.
Clive, a wonderfully talented and hugely attractive man (he’s 6’8’’ and looking over my shoulder) who I shared a staged with at Stoke. I played a racist and he beat me up – that Theatre in Education for you.
Tom Peters scared me silly (literally) in Mother Goose and Jack and the Beanstalk with his villainous characters. A fellow Liverpool F.C. fan (it’s in print now so it must be true) he’s going to be very good in Aladdin. Or should that be very bad!
James I’ve met briefly before and is famous for his performance in Bouncers, Perfect Pitch. Up ‘n’ Under – he’s a John Godber specialist. Gordon, Natasha and Liz who I’ve not met before read amazingly. The standard has been set.
We saw a model of the set designed by Philip Witcomb. Wow. That’s all I’m going to say. Wow.
And finally it’s a joy to work with the legendary director Phil Lowe. (He told me to say that!)