priscilla shefffield

Monarch of the Pudding – Life in the bus lane – Touring with Priscilla

Greetings from sunny Sheffield, the town where toothpaste in a tube was invented. Week one of my sabbatical from the world of swing and adventure into eighties pop musical Priscilla.

Its funny taking over a show from someone else, I described it to Agust (the very fine drummer in the show from Finland) as joining a synchronised swimming team without ever having been in the water. All the musics make sense but it’s fitting into a team that has been running for nearly a year without trying to make the transition too obvious.

It’s a long time since I did any touring and with it comes a new set of challenges. The first was digs… This well established accommodation industry has been utilised by musicians and actors for many years but the concept is quite odd. You get a list from the theatre of people who are quite happy to let complete strangers stay in their house for a number of nights and take payment on the final day. I’d been supplied with a honed down list from the good Mrs F and actually struck gold with the first call. Equally as a guest you are also expecting that there is a certain level of comfort, clean bed, warm room, hot shower et cetera. My digs for this week are marvellous. It is a victorian house built by a mill owner in 1829 and despite the slight adams’s family exterior is very well maintained, warm & comfy. Although being used to packing for the occasional 2/3 night stay it’s a long time that I’ve had to pack for a tour. I think I’ve brought too much stuff. Any thoughts I had about reading, studying or learning a language thus far have been thwarted by sleeping!

The band this week are ‘remoted’ in the pit. This means we are cut of from the public via the medium of panels & doors that ease the concerns of the sound designer and quite rightly keep us away from the general public! So life is in a little room where we are all set up facing Richard, the MD. We all commented that it was a little like being in class. Agust and his drums are in another box actually in the pit. We all have headphones, Aviom mixers and a visual monitor to view Richard who is mostly obscured by the clutter and detritus of the stands – microphone & musical, screens & monitors.

Opening night passed with a great deal of adrenaline, coffee and a delightful sense of bon homie from my new chums. In hindsight no one wants you to fail and it’s sometimes easy to miss that fact! My fellow brass section colleague Gavin, on trumpet, was please with my lot as was the band so I guess I got away with it 😉

Yesterday saw the tricky second show, less adrenaline and a matinee, and was almost enjoyable… I suppose I ought to just get on with it now! So off to work I go for show four.

I’ll write another post from Hull where as my wife has informed me, “life is never dull”!

The power of keeping Karma!


Paul FawcusPaul Fawcus
0785 097 3469

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