Saturday, 23 October 2010

Friends Of The Devonshire Park Theatre Autumn Fair 2010

Friends Of The Devonshire Park Theatre Autumn Fair 2010

This year the fair was held on the ground and 1st floors of the Congress Theatre with various stalls, competitions, raffles and, for the first time, tours of the Congress Theatre on offer.

I was lucky enough to be on the first tour of the day and enjoyed a very interesting explanation as to what occurs behind the scenes from both experienced theatre staff and Mark Sayer, the very knowledgable stage manager of the Congress Theatre.

At a mere £2.50 per tour this new way of fund raising was proving very popular and I hope they continue this in future years.

Actually, as the Government slashes cultural budgets it may be worth other theatres thinking about opening their doors with guided tours. We have some beautiful theatres in this country and it is nice appreciating them without crowds and looking at them from different viewpoints.

Laugh of the day came when Mark Sayer showed the plan of how Chitty Chitty Bang Bang had been accomodated and hidden behind the scenes. He then produced a large Health and Safety issues manual which appeared over an inch thick. "Is that for the theatre?" someone asked "No!" Mark responded "Just for this show!". He was serious too!

I won't go into further detail as you need to appreciate this tour for yourself. But I think it's something every Congress Theatre goer should so at least once. You will learn a lot which may surprise you.

Former Dr Who, Colin Baker, who was still appearing in House Of Ghosts at the Devonshire Park Theatre kindly gave up his time to open the event (see video below)

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