BLODS offer Shrek The Musical this Christmas

BLODS mark a strong comeback after a difficult year with a staging of Dreamworks production of Shrek – The Musical at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.

Monday, 20th December 2021, 7:05 am
BLODS - Shrek in rehearsals
BLODS - Shrek in rehearsals

2020 was a very low period for the society and it nearly came to an end, due to losing its income through not having hall hire or putting on any productions.

But local support and dedicated volunteers have seen it through. Now they are pulling out all the stops for a great show.

BLODS’ Shrek - The Musical runs from December 22-24 with evening performances at 7pm and matinees from 2.30pm. Tickets can be bought from: www.dlwp.com or www.blods.co.uk.

Society chairman Kitson Wellard, who is directing Shrek, said: “Shrek the musical is a family treat and we really hope that this musical delight will be an opportunity for families to come together and enjoy theatre once again at Christmas time.

“We are also really proud to say the BLODS and DLWP theatre will be doing their absolute best to ensure Covid safety measures are being adhered too.

“We urge the audiences coming to watch the show to follow all covid safety guidelines, including the wearing of masks and lateral flow tests carried out before coming to the theatre.”

For the company, reaching the stage will be a significant moment.

“For rehearsals obviously we have had to conform to the Covid lines for theatre. We are socially distanced and to begin with we had to do Zoom rehearsals which was not great with a cast of nearly 40. We did that and then we had to break it down into smaller groups like one to one or two to one or three to one. It was very restricted.

“And then from August we were first allowed actual groups and we had smaller groups coming together and luckily it was summer so we could rehearse outside. We were limiting the larger group gatherings to a minimum and just rehearsing scenes, but what we have really missed out on has been the social side. We wanted to protect the cast and so we haven’t done any of the social things. Usually we would be rehearsing and then going to the pub. It has been tricky. And we’ve had cast off with Covid and I have had Covid and I am directing it! But we’ve managed it somehow.

“We do it because we love it. I am a performer and I also direct. I love directing shows because I love seeing the finished product. I also love the technical side of it. I love the lighting and I have designed the lighting plot for this. I just love how it all comes together, how it goes from a book to a full-on production. I just think that that process is incredible.

“Usually I would have a walk-on part but not with this one because there is so much going on, but I am actually understudy for the guy who is playing Shrek. I’m hoping not to go on because he is so good! I kind of know the part but I don’t know it as well as the actor does.”

It comes as the company turns its fortunes around strongly.

“BLODS were doing OK but we have got premises where we do small plays. We put on ‘Allo ‘Allo during the summer. Last year we did nothing. The year before that we did a play and a musical. But the overheads we have for the hall are still there. We have still got to pay them, and it nearly came to us closing – or selling our premises and continuing as a society without. Luckily we got a grant but the problem was we lost all of our hall hires. We had no income but we still had the overheads.

“When we did ‘Allo ‘Allo in the summer, it was packed. Regardless of the general consensus about people being nervous going back to the theatre, we could have sold the show four times over. And with Shrek we have just sold our 3,000th ticket out of about 4,800 and something tickets. So it’s all good. We have turned things around. ‘Allo ‘Allo made us enough money to stretch us to Shrek. The show costs us £32,000 to put on. It’s a lot of money but it is a big show.”