Well well well, it's been a while hasn't it? It's been a crazy few months on tour with BlackOut Theatre Co. and an even crazier few weeks back home too but hey I shall explain all (and back up why I haven't blogged in a while...)
As you may have seen in my previous post, this summer I went on tour through England and Wales with 6 others performing the children's show 'The Reluctant Dragon'. It was such an amazing experience with so many memories that I will hold close. We went to lots of venues and performed many many shows so as you can imagine there is a lot to say!
We started based in Carmarthen where we toured South Wales, largely in the Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire area. We started off well, despite some rain and cancelled performances, performing in wonderful castles and even a Zoo! A perk of touring was definitely the chance to explore the beautiful surroundings we visited including the stunning St David's Cathedral and even trips to the sea side. One of our most memorable shows was at Kidwelly where we also performed our final third year production at University. We had an enthusiastic audience, which reaffirmed our love for the community that resides there. And a big thanks to Peter and Kath for the lovely BBQ after our shows!
After a stop off in Abergevenny, performing in Chepstow, White castle and then a lovely weekend in Cardiff, we then headed to Bristol. We went to the lovely national trust venues of 'Lacock' and 'Tyntesfield' and even camped on site at the latter! That was interesting after hearing ghost stories about the place...
Then we headed to Devon where we performed in Knightshayes both under a marquee to protect from the rain and later in their garden under the sun. Then we had a few days of deserved rest where we relaxed, went to the beach to eat pasties and of course had a night in the pub!
Our final leg of the tour was in north Wales where we stayed on a farm (huge thanks to Bryn and his family for letting us stay!) in the rural countryside and then camped till the end. It was great visiting this part of Wales as the beautiful setting and surroundings truly was special. Our final shows were set in a medieval festival on the isle of Anglesey in Beaumaris and finally in Conwy (which was easily one of our hardest get ins but we powered through!).
Overall after doing countless shows, spending every day together and travelling around the UK we were looking forward to going home for a well needed rest but were overwhelmed at all the we had achieved. The money we raised, the professional teamwork it required and the crucial experience we gained from touring this wonderful show made our step into the real working world that less daunting. We have a show to be proud of, the experience of demanding performances and the memory of all the smiles that we put on both adults and children's faces.
I didn't know what to expect before going on tour: I was both anxious and excited. However, now looking back I couldn't be happier that I got the opportunity to do it. It was hard and there were tough times (like being freezing cold at night in a tent!) but thankfully I had the support of the most brilliant group of people where the laughs didn't stop. And for that I will always be grateful.
Another reason to be thankful for this incredible summer is that it has secured me more work in touring children's theatre, which is closer to home this time! But I will speak about that next time :D
So that has been my summer and a great one at that. Here's to this year, the next steps and to BlackOut Theatre Co.'s future.
Speak soon, Melissa x