Considering I produced my first show, Ellie & Starlight the Musical in April 2019 you could say progress has been slow but as I’m sure you’ll appreciate it has not been an easy ride for theatre producers over the past two years.
After the triumph of Ellie & Starlight the Musical I was determined to move forward despite the restrictions in place at various times throughout that very grim Covid period but finding the right opportunity was difficult to say the least.
It was the evening of Friday 8th September and I was having dinner in the West End with playwright Ken Mason and Sarah Watson, who wrote the original story for Ellie & Starlight. We were on our way to see the brilliant ghost story 2:22 by Danny Robins.
Another friend who was with us night asked about Ellie & Starlight and what was happening with the show? Since lockdown had struck, I’d put everything on hold but it was that conversation which prompted me to get my producers hat back on!
I was aware that Hampton Hill Theatre always went dark over Christmas so that night I emailed my contact Wes and asked if we could have the space? The next day we received confirmation and Ken had six weeks to write Ellie & Starlight’s Christmas Adventure!
Everyone I spoke to said I was crazy for mounting a show while Covid was still rife but my mind was made up and I paid the deposit on the Theatre the very next week.
With a lovely script which Ken has produced from nowhere and a great cast which included two company members from the previous production, Peter Gardiner and Kate Barton plus TikTok sensation Holly Hos we were ready to go. And that’s when Covid numbers started to rise again!
The show sold well but as we reached our opening ‘night’ Omicron hit the headlines and the message from the Government was ‘choose what’s most important to you this Christmas’.
Our first house saw 50% of those who’d booked turn up but as the headlines faded and people realized this latest strain of the dreaded Covid was actually not too bad, bookings continued to increase and we enjoyed a really good run up to Christmas Eve.
With the prospect of our cast catching Covid at any point it was a nerve-racking experience for all concerned but we did it and it really was a magical Christmas show, enjoyed by so many from Hampton Hill, Teddington and surrounding areas.
And so here I am mounting the next Hampton Hill Christmas show and I cannot wait to bring you Hatti & Pippa’s Christmas Adventure! Hopefully it will be a smoother ride this time.
Thanks for reading!