Theatre production companies up and down the country put on successful plays all year round, but it’s the time of year where the pantomime has its moment in the spotlight. With Christmas fast approaching, it’s time you make sure you’ve followed the checklist for a successful production. Whether you’re a local company or a national one, putting on a new play can be daunting and often takes a lot of organisation and hard work, from casting to rehearsing to its debut night.
So, if you want to make sure your pantomime or play is a success this year, here are some top tips to help.
Choose the right story
It’s important that you choose a story you love; this can make it easier as you’ll already know the plot, the musical numbers and have an idea of what the set should look like. What’s more, you’ll be spending a lot of time working on it, so it’s worth your while to pick something that you will enjoy.
Consider how many cast members you will need, and make sure that the style of your play or pantomime is in keeping with the audience you’re expecting to have. For example, pantomimes are family-friendly and generally aimed at children so using the right language is critical. It’s also important to design the right props and costumes to match the story, as the stage will set the scene effectively. If things are missing or not quite right, the audience will notice.
Build the right team
It’s impossible to put on a play by yourself, so having the right team around you is crucial. There may be roles that you haven’t even thought of, including carpenters, electricians and sound mixers, all of which play a big part in theatre production. After all, you can’t have a singing, dancing show without a choreographer or a sound design guy!
Decide if you want to hire professionals to help, or if friends and family have the right skills to get involved. You might be surprised who can help out with costume design or directing.
Have the right equipment
When it comes to the opening night, make sure your equipment is correct and in working order. Consider stocking on batteries for wireless microphones or other related equipment. Consider if you need special sound effects, lighting or other audio apparatus to ensure the production goes smoothly, and make sure you have it in plenty of time before its debut showing. You should do sound checks and carry out other precautionary checks to double check everything is in working order.
Most importantly, enjoy the process! Particularly around Christmas, pantomimes are a great family day out and can help to create memories that children will remember as they grow up.