Join the Production Team…. Are you mad?!

7th February 2020

It is 100% panto-frenzy here at Brindle Players HQ this week. The costumes are complete, the set is so nearly finished (we’ve faced a lot of set backs this year!), the dances have been taught, the lyrics learnt and the show… well, the show is bloomin’ fantastic – but of course we have to say that :)

We’re not going to lie, when January comes around a few of the production team have a minor meltdown – there’s a lot to do and there never feels like enough time to do it in. So why do we keep on coming back for more? Well, our Director might currently say she doesn’t know why, but we decided to ask some of our cast and production team what it is about being involved in the show that keeps them coming back year after year. From farmers to electrical engineers, accountants to history teachers, we’ve got a really broad range of wonderful people offering their free time to create our wonderful show and support our amazing cast. We thought we’d ask a few about their motivations for joining Brindle Players.

Our Producer Jo is just out of uni, she’s looking for a full time job, working part time as a barista, gaining work experience as a volunteer for a women’s centre and being a very busy auntie to two lovely nieces. She has been with Brindle Players for 13 years and in that time we’ve seen her blossom from a shy 10 year old to a confident and talented performer and a really valuable production team member. “Brindle Players is my second family. I’m really glad to have returned to perform with the company and to join the Production Team. Being Producer has been my biggest Brindle Players challenge yet, but I’ve loved getting stuck in and all the skills I’m developing will be really helpful for the future.”

Our Chaperone & Volunteer Coordinator, Debbie is a Chartered Accountant by day. Now is a really busy time for Debbie as she coordinates the training and licensing for our LCC approved chaperones, maps the entrances and exits for our chaperone plan, requests volunteers to assist the core Production Team – and a lot of what she does can only be done when the show starts running from beginning to end.

“I got involved in panto when my daughter joined four years ago. During the first two years, I helped out in various roles behind the scenes but the last two years I joined the production team. 

There are two main reasons why I help out: 

  • To give back to the group. My daughter was been made to feel welcome from the first time she came to Brindle Players and loves every minute she spends there. This is my way of saying thank you. 
  • I enjoy being a chaperone as I love the chaos and excitement of the dressing room. I get to see the nerves of the children before the first show and then the pure joy when they come off stage when it’s gone well and they got a round of applause.”

We truly believe Debbie may be well on her way to becoming a saint, her patience and calm nature is certainly something we all aspire to at Brindle Players!

Yvonne is our Front Of House & Box Office Manager. “I enjoy these roles as, although they are quite a commitment, this commitment involves time at home (dealing with ticket sales) or being at all the shows during the production run – and not so much commitment during the rest of the year! It also means I get to watch all of the shows (for free!). I love seeing how the shows change and develop as we go through the performances – and there is always something different to see!

In the rest of my life, I run a small farm with sheep, chickens and ponies. I run a holiday cottage in the barn conversion next to our house. I am the Chair of Governors at the local Primary School and I am also on the management committee of the local, community-owned pub!

I got involved in panto when my daughter auditioned five years ago and I love being part of panto because everyone is so friendly and it is such fun and because they put on such great shows!” 

There’s an old saying ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.’ It’s fair to say Yvonne is one of the busiest people we know, she fails to point out that her entire family have also written songs for this production, painted scenery and are currently working on the mechanics of getting a beanstalk to grow on stage! 

Now, we could go on and list every one of our incredible Production Team and just how busy they are and just how fabulous they are for giving up their time and energy to put on this little pantomime in this tiny parish hall in the middle of nowhere all that special…. Why is it so important to us?…. When you’ve watched a child struggle to overcome their nerves to sing a line or dance a few steps during an audition and you see them standing full of confidence taking a bow at the end of seven performances, that’s when you realise the importance. Most of our team have watched those children grow into confident young adults who keep coming back to tell us how we made a big difference from just that tiny bit of input. So I for one will continue to grow those seeds and watch them bloom.