I’m a sucker for backstage behind the scenes stuff. I love seeing the inner workings, the gears, the ‘pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.’ When I was seven or eight years old, my school went to a Christmastime pantomime at a nearby theatre. I remember that the secretary of the school was in the show, though I’ve long forgotten her name. And for some reason I can’t remember, I was allowed to go back, alone, to see the show again. Front row seat. Very excited.
My excitement went to 11 when an usher tapped me on the shoulder at intermission. I was being invited to watch Act Two from the wings. I was being invited to sit back stage. If I had to pin point a single moment that theatre got her hooks into me, that would have to be it. I clearly remember walking through the green room (which WAS green at this theatre) I remember standing in the wings, I remember the joking around of the actors back stage. They were having the time of their life it seemed. There was a moment in the play where one of the characters sings ‘Ain’t she sweet’ to a rather not so sweet character. The actors back stage all got together and decided to answer the question in the song with a resounding NO! I’m pretty sure my shout was louder than all the rest. I remember seeing the bewilderment on the actor’s face as he looked into the wings, while still trying to sing his song.
Now, today, as an adult, I don’t think that tom foolery is keen or cool. But my goodness, can you imagine being seven or eight and being included in such a thing? Being welcomed in? It was heaven on a plate.
So, that’s why I actually squealed a little when I came across these backstage videos from the London version of Lord of the Rings. The video below focuses on the costume and wardrobe department. (Did you know there was a difference? Me neither)
Sure the show wasn’t all that great, and sure the videos are a few years old. But it’s a peak behind the scenes, a look at the gears. It’s a open door into a world we don’t often get to be a part of. I’ll always remember the first time I got to look through that door.