Nearly Showtime…….!
South Manchester Helen O'Grady

Anyone who came to last year’s show cannot fail to remember the heat! The show was performed probably in the hottest week of the year and meant that backstage the temperatures must have been topping 40 degrees as front of stage it was well in the 30’s. Even with the windows open and some industrial sized fans being turned on between shows the temperature was high. Even so the level of effort and performance was incredibly high. To any new visitors to the Smhog website then I have provided some links to the previous story relating to last year’s performances. They are called What a Scorcher!What a scorcher…..#2! and What a scorcher….#3!. If you read each story it tells of a very notable performance which would have gone completely un-noticed but for the fact I was able to witness it. Perhaps, it will be the turn of your child to become one of the Academy’s unsung heroes.

Newly painted Scenery

Newly painted Scenery

One of the reasons I have been so quiet recently is due to the immense amount of behind the scenes work that goes on. We have stage meetings, lighting meetings, sound meetings, costume meetings and meetings which have no title to them. Andy has been hard at it sourcing wood, cutting it, painting it and then storing it for use in the show. We agreed last night that there seems to still be an awful lot to do in the next two or so weeks but I am sure we will get there. We have experience of painting scenery whilst the audience are queueing at the door to come in before. In addition, I have to get all the sound equipment out and make sure I can remember how to piece it all together. Then, I have to attach a laptop to it and test all of the sound effects I have. I remember a story many years ago when performing for an amateur society that a sound effect had been sourced from the internet and seemed perfect on the cheapo laptop speaker when played but on the dress rehearsal night there was a distinct and unfortunate noise which could be heard using the superior quality speakers of the sound engineer. I don’t want to make the same mistake.

Eric is back with us this year and has provided the lighting plot which is efficient yet simple. Last year the lighting packs were as hot as the hottest object in the universe and caused us a little concern but it was alright on the night to coin a phrase. The star so far this year is our costume lady Barbara. The costumes are quite simply stunning. I won’t spoil the surprise but they are a special quality and Barbara should be congratulated for the considerable hard work she has put into each and every one she has made. Jane took some of them to one of our studios to try them on and she said that she has never seen kids so excited as they were on that night.

All this leaves now is for an audience. If there is a good and appreciative audience then the performance is always so much better. The children performing have rehearsed at their acting and drama classes but are of different ages and different competencies. However, it takes a lot to get up on stage and act. Tickets can be secured by ringing 0161 929 9586 or 07595 188484.

Alternatively you can email or message us through Twitter us @SMHOG or through facebook where our page is If you are a parent of one of the children, bring as many people to see your little star performer and be proud of their fantastic achievements. The show is going to be great, please don’t miss it.

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