The Bristol Hippodrome is huge, and I mean really huge. Running from one side of the stage to the other feels like doing a 100m sprint and it certainly takes a few minutes to run round the outside of the auditorium…that was one of our more adventurous warm up routines. As well as being a very big theatre it’s also very cold theatre when there’s no audience in.
During the sound check I could have sworn that my breath was condensing when coming out of the end of the trumpet. Ok, maybe that was an exaggeration but it was still pretty cold. At first the size of the theatre was daunting and we were all wondering if we would ever have a full audience but that fear very quickly disappeared when it became apparent that Bristol seems to love the show. Every single night the audience were fantastic and the Saturday matinee was our biggest audience of the tour so far with 1300.
As well as having busy shows we’ve also had some pretty busy rehearsals during the day which have resulted in a few changes to the show. Don’t worry nothing’s been cut but there are a few new trumpet harmonies in a couple of songs. There also are few more gags that have gone in and most importantly a brand new song! I won’t say much more about the new stuff because if you’re really that interested then you should probably come and see the show. You never know, you might enjoy it.
While the Hippodrome has been a great place to perform in, my digs have been a slightly different story. So far I’ve been staying in Travelodges (in fact I’ll be staying in my last Travelodge next week in Swansea) and all in all they haven’t been that bad. Sunderland was very handy for being next door to the theatre and the few shops that were nearby and Blackpool was a similar story with the added bonus of a view of the North Pier. They weren’t perfect of course as they both seemed to be built on top of nightclubs, but apart from the occasional low thuds they were pretty much fine. Bristol has been the opposite with the actual building being out on a bleak main road quite a distance from anything useful. In fact the whole place was pretty bleak. Not Bristol, the city is actually quite nice with it’s combination of glass buildings and small winding roads, but the Travelodge was like living in a cardboard box with a bed for the week.
To top it off on the Friday I had the cleaners burst into my room who were convinced that I should have left earlier that morning. Thankfully I managed to convince them that I wasn’t leaving until Saturday. The following morning when I left my room there was another cleaner specifically (at least that’s what it seemed like, for me to come out. Needless to say I didn’t feel welcome. Having said that this doesn’t speak for all Travelodges, just this one. Two out of three times it’s been a pleasant experience so hopefully next week in Swansea will live up to the Sunderland and Blackpool experiences.
Saturday’s snow cause a few minor problems just in terms of travel. Initially I was worried if I’d ever get back to London and then if I did get back, would I be able to make it over to Swansea on Monday morning. So far it’s all gone to plan, touch wood, although the motorways did feel a bit daring. You can see what it looked like in the picture above and it looks even worse when you’ve got the falling snow zooming towards you like that classic Windows star screensaver! Again by the time you read this I’ll probably be either on my way or already in Swansea so hopefully it all goes well.
So that’s all for this week. I realise that it’s a lot shorter than last weeks entry but you were getting two weeks in one post. As ever you can keep up with my inane ramblings on Twitter and if you’re in Swansea make sure you head down to the Grand Theatre this week to rock your socks off.