Mike’s Tour Blog: Sun, seaside fun and international audiences at Stephen Joseph Theatre

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Mike talks seaside, fun, food and making a difference with theatre at the superb Stephen Joseph Theatre…

The Stephen Joseph Theatre was one of the theatres I was really looking forward to:

  • It’s in Yorkshire
  • It’s by the seaside
  • It’s one of the few places in Scarborough I haven’t played in the last couple of years.
  • It’s closely affiliated with a theatre that I love, The Old Laundry in Bowness with the same Ayckbourn & Victoria Wood connections.

We arrived in the tour van to crashing waves on the North shore and made our way up town and finally found the Stage Door.

We’d been warned about the numerous flights (it felt like 8!) of stairs but after six trips with props and set I was finally feeling my age. This was despite the full on efforts of the marvellous techies Matt & Paul who took in all in their stride. No need for gym membership for those two. But definitely one for me at the end of the tour!

The ‘get in’ complete there was only thing for it; a brisk walk down to the beach to take in the lovely spring evening, take some tour PR shots on the sand, play a manic air hockey game in the amusements arcade, eat OAP fish & chips with tea, bread & butter and buy dressed crabs for our supper back in the hotel room.

The net result being, we were on a proper tour!

Ok, that was as rock n roll as it got but the Secret Diaries team felt like a unit and we couldn’t wait to perform.

We were really pleased with an audience of almost 100 for a week night which included a Norwegian School group who asked pertinent questions in the Q&A which proved the Secret Diaries drama could travel past England. There was also a Pupil Referral Unit and a group that included a lad who ‘didn’t want to come’, but who emailed us afterwards to tell us how brilliant he thought it was. This was his first play, but now, surely not his last. Things like that stay with you and was yet another example to the whole team that we were in a theatre production that makes a difference.

The email we received from the young person:

I watched your amazing play Secret Diaries last night at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. I have to be honest at first I hated the thought of watching a play at a theatre, however after about 5 minutes I started to enjoy it. Throughout the show I was so impressed by the professionalism of the three actors and equally impressed with how smoothly the transitions to the different scenes went. After the play I spoke to Rachel and told her how much i enjoyed it. I would be more then happy to what another play of yours and thank you for making my night.