Ho Ho Ho, it's Team Mo Mo Mo (Maurice!) - By Scarlett Maltman
After a busy first week of shows, Team Maurice ended the week at the Pickled Pepper Book Shop in Crouch End. This was the first ever public performance C4K had done (no pressure!) and it was a huge joy to work in the lovely performance space of the cosy North London Bookstore. We welcomed a packed-out audience of grinning faces to our first show, before heading out for some good Crouch End coffee to fuel our second show. After performing our socks off for show two of the day, we were kindly given a wee discount on any books in store, meaning the whole Maltman family received a fabulous children’s book for Christmas.
Performing at Pickled Pepper was a fantastic opportunity to show the community what Christmas for Kids is all about - most adults ended up donating to the charity afterwards and wanting to support the work, which was just fantastic.
As the adrenaline of the day and the good coffee buzz began to fade, we packed up our kit and headed back home for a couple days rest before we headed out on tour again.
The puppets went to chill at Laura’s house for a relaxing break too, I hear they all had a great time and didn’t party too hard.
A beautiful December morning saw three actors, a car boot full of set and some excited puppets on the road, heading off to Naomi House in Winchester. Doing a vocal warmup whilst watching a beautiful sunrise over Greenwich Park made the early rise totally worth it, and as the sun soon disappeared behind the clouds, we found ourselves performing to the lovely children of Naomi House. The children reacted beautifully to the show, with one child called Dotty taking a particular liking to “Bow The Bauble Bird’s” Christmas baubles! Seeing Dotty’s face light up with joy was just one of the many brilliant moments from this performance. There are so many beautiful sensory elements during the show, and reactions like Dotty’s cements the true importance of these moments. It’s very rare for an actor to be so involved with their audience, so to get the opportunity to do this is pure magic.
We headed off back to London, this time watching the sun set over Greenwich Park and Brendan puffing on his vocal steamer (that he eventually broke along the journey, it was a very sad moment) and got some rest before heading out on the road for six days.
Our first stop on our Christmas journey led us to Julia’s House in Poole. We were very grateful to meet Richard Gayle of the Gayle Foundation here, as he has kindly donated to the charity for several years. After a brilliant and fun-filled show, we received amazing feedback from the hospice carers, stating that every child was reacting and enjoying the show in their own way. A particular popular moment being the song ‘Starlight Starbright’, where each child gets a finger light and we dim the lights to create what can only be described as (and I quote from a previous hospice) ‘The Northern Lights’.
Brendan filled up his vocal steamer before we headed to a lovey little holiday home for the evening. We got settled into our lovely holiday home, went to Aldi, made some yummy dinner and then celebrated Brendan’s graduation. He unfortunately couldn’t be in two places at once and missed his graduation day, so we toasted to our wee Irish beauty before getting some rest.
On Friday the 13th December, and feeling the importance of love, support and the power of theatre more than ever - we headed to Ellen Tinkham School in Exeter. The SEN School was filled with a lively and brilliant audience who absolutely loved the show; they danced, they sang and they all got fully involved. The reactions to the finger lights again was so powerful and Harry, Bow and Benson (our puppets) gave out hundreds of cuddles, high 5’s and fist pumps to every single audience member. A personal show highlight for Team Maurice, and we left with high spirits on route to our next destination for our second show of the day.
Arriving into beautiful Cornwall, we headed to the picturesque beach for some sightseeing, a snap for the gram, met a cocker spaniel named Jackson (named after 'Jackson 5' of course) and cosied up for a hot chocolate before heading to Little Harbour Hospice not far from the beach. We also lost Brendan for a short time throughout all this, but we soon found him outdoors puffing on his vocal steamer. A fabulous show with the help of Caitlin who loved singing, dancing and everything about the show. On request from Caitlin, we performed Mariah Carey ‘All I Want For Christmas’ one more time before heading out on the road to Barnstaple
It was during the arrival into our Travel Lodge in Barnstaple that Brendan dropped his vocal steamer…
A truly brilliant week and a joy to perform with C4K again. I have never understood the true power of theatre till I performed with C4K and watched a room of children, families and staff members smile together.
Thanks for reading and see you soon.
Scarlett Maltman, Team Maurice.