Tour Memories #6 - Queen's Park, Meols
Queen's Park is tucked away on the border between Meols and Hoylake. It's a lovely green space in between the bustle of both respective towns and is one of our first true home crowds, being the second-closest venue to where OTG are based. Our audience here usually reflects that fact, and tucked away under the trees, with the sound of the sea in the air, outdoor theatre (on a good summer's evening at least) is never quite as pleasant. Here's some memories from our past few casts to have performed there:
Ciara D - A Midsummer Night's Dream
"This was the first show in two years that I hadn't been in the cast for. I was coming back from work and made it back in time for the interval, so caught the second half. Seeing the cast during the interval and how much they enjoyed themselves through the second half, along with how much the audience appreciated everything, made me realise what a special thing the OTG tour is to be a part of, especially when it's a home crowd, and how much fun it is."
Dan M - Sinbad
"My abiding memory of Queen’s Park is bringing my son to a venue for the first time. As soon as he arrived most of the cast stopped doing the set up, for which I should apologise to the production team. Actually, thinking about it, they were amongst the first to stop too so no apology necessary. Frankie was immediately surrounded by his bonus family. He seemed to love the attention and wasn’t phased at all by all the new faces. Within about two minutes Connor, Matty and Felipe had him playing with the weapons from the show. I know I may be reading too much into this, but he definitely looked very at home!"
Connor W - Sinbad
"The Sinbad show at Queen's Park will always be one that sticks in my memory. Having been great friends with Dan, and worked so closely with him, throughout the journey to Frankie being born, it's safe to say that I was beyond excited to finally meet the little guy. He's an incredible child who had so much personality even then. Don't tell his parents, but I can't wait to see him on the stage, he's a natural!"
Jordan C - A Midsummer Night's Dream
"That's where we started the name ball game! Great audience and by the sea too, beautiful!" *
* A recent tour tradition has seen the cast and crew engage in, whenever possible, competitive games of one bounce using whatever manner of ball is available to them (it can get creative). It's competitive in the sense that each mistake is punished by adding another letter to a word, the loser is the first to complete the word. Words range from the absurd and hilarious to the downright offensive.
Ciara D - Around the World in 80 Days
"Queen's Park was the first venue we had been to on that tour that had an indoor changing room, and my God was it appreciated. Not least as it was raining outside the night of Queen's Park, and the props table during Around the World in 80 Days took up a marquee and a half, so changing into costume up against the marquee wall was rather challenging. I remember this venue as it was a great reminder to appreciate the little things, such as getting dressed indoors, with space and next to a radiator."
Connor W - A Midsummer Night's Dream
"Last year, after a youth theatre performance at Queen's Park, I received a message that one of our audience members would be celebrating her 70th birthday with a trip to see us on tour at Queen's Park. The audience member in question had been to our previous 3 or 4 performances at the venue and had loved every year. It's a surreal feeling, knowing that there are 'fans' of the work that you do. The company brought a bottle of prosecco and a card signed by the cast, as a surprise, for a birthday treat at the show that night. That kind of feeling of closeness and community, where people feel comfortable telling us these things and knowing that their support is valued and individual, is what holds OTG together, it always has. In the following days I received an email from the audience member and a group of her friends, with a set of photographs they had taken throughout the show - they thought they may be useful to us as promo material in the future 'from an audience's perspective'. It was a beautiful email to receive, and validates what we are all about."
Here's proof of Francis' first ever visit to an OTG show! Look how happy we all were to meet him!