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Behind the Scenes with BFLOC – Little Shop of Horrors. Part 1: Down on Skid Row

It’s not long since the curtain came down on the latest show from Blackpool and Fylde Light Opera Company at The Grand Theatre. Their production of Boogie Nights finished at the end of May and the rehearsals for Little Shop of Horrors started almost immediately. There’s no rest for the wicked and with the tight turnaround to the next opening night, every rehearsal counts. 

In the lead up to the show, we will be bringing you a series of behind-the-scenes articles, so you can learn more about the cast and crew and the legacy of this well-established local amateur dramatic society.

After two-years of a pandemic, I looked forward to the chance to get back to performing with this company. I first joined BFLOC in 2015 to take part in their production of Hairspray at The Grand Theatre. I had not performed on stage in over 15 years and was excited to get back learning harmonies and mastering dance routines. I received a warm welcome and settled in very quickly. I returned to take part in further productions of Legally Blonde, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 9 to 5 and Me and My Girl and have fond memories of every show.

Apart from a role as the office drunk, Margaret, in 9 to 5 (no type-casting, honest!) – I have always been a part of the Ensemble. I love the camaraderie that is developed between the cast and how everyone helps each other out. There are always small groups during breaks, going over harmonies or offering to practice tricky dance steps.  You really start to feel a sense of belonging and shared purpose. 

Legally Blonde: The Parade

As someone who lives alone, these are feelings that I’ve missed over the past couple of years and I have loved returning to the rehearsal rooms. There is something very special about singing in a group, especially when you hit the harmonies. The pandemic also seemed to have had a greater impact on theatre and amateur companies. As we progressed through the tiered phases and other industries were allowed to return and operate with restrictions, we were still unable to congregate in groups indoors to sing. I am very pleased that this is something we are now allowed to do once more. 

The first group number is Skid Row (Down Town) – where you get to meet the full cast of down-and-outs who live in the neighbourhood and help to set the scene. We have been rehearsing this number over the past week and it has been great to get to know new members and catch up with some familiar faces.

I am looking forward to the chaos of show week, extra late-night rehearsals, costume fittings, new dressing room buddies and taking some new show selfies.  We hope you can join us down on Skid Row in September at The Lowther Pavilion. 

Tickets are available online now from the Lowther Pavilion website.

Header images Hannah Ayres. Video Max Sandiford.

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