Post panto blues? Not us. We’ve much to celebrate in Front of House-land.

We’ve made a few changes in the Greene Room Bar, notably, we’ve moved one of the tills and its attendant ice-cream freezer into the body of the room, thereby reducing the tangle at the loos/shop at the end of the room. We think it eased the scrums during the panto so we’re leaving it there for the foreseeable future. Do tell us what you think, it won’t actually reduce the queues, just separate them out a bit.

We’re delighted to welcome Joel McEvoy-Swift on to the Duty Management team. Joel has been working at the theatre for some years now, mostly on the bar but he’s also done stints in the Box Office and is a regular on the unseen operations team helping with maintenance, cleaning and Christmas tree ups & downs, among other tasks. He joins Rory, Jan, Stephen, Bex, Aaron, Ann, Marie & I, and will be training and shadowing prior to getting his solo licence in a few months time. Please say hi if you bump into him on one of your visits during this season.

Peter Pan-to was a roaring success all round, it broke all previous Theatre Royal panto records, some of the more noteworthy stats are:

84 performances playing to 25,663 people, many of whom were school parties and for many of whom, it was their first visit to a theatre or show. What a way to discover the joy of theatre-going.

Our stewards covered 588 shifts, that’s 2,352 volunteer hours. Some saw the show in excess of 30 times.

We sold 8,064 ice-creams, our new Vegan Vanilla proving popular. We must thank Criterion Ices of Thurston for their efficient and friendly service. They delivered at short notice, at all hours and without fuss, throughout the season. They have also donated a branded ice-cream freezer to ease our storage problems. We’re very grateful.

An interesting one is mileage covered by the Young Chorus’ parents, delivering & collecting their charges. We think it’s in excess of 20,000 miles. Note for next year, must do something about our carbon footprint!

To balance the above, in part, we were delighted to be able to send our Christmas trees to Banham Zoo where they’re providing a tasty snack for the camels & big cats. Our thanks to volunteers John & Michelle Russell for organising this. Who knew that camels ate Christmas trees?

Behind the scenes Front of House, if you catch my drift, we fixed somewhere near 35 busted seats, freed up snagged cisterns, disposed of untold tons of carefully sorted rubbish, recycling & glass and, at an average 5 a day, your correspondent drank some 270 mugs of tea and I’m not telling you how many slices of cake he ate!

Finally, the big one. The number of times UV Peter’s head fell off… one, and it was hilarious.

That’s it for now, more to come soon. Next time you’re visiting, do say hi to the staff, tell them what you think of the performance, we love your feedback.