Right, said Fred…

As a group made up entirely of volunteers we really value everyone who walks through the doors and up the stairs to help us. It’s a big group these days and it takes someone with special talents to keep an eye on us all and co-ordinate all the tasks and activities, and that person would be Fred, our Tuesday night gaffer. As it’s Fred’s birthday today we decided we’d do a little blog post in his honour! And it gives our readers a chance to meet some of the faces that make up the backstage crew, the ones you won’t see on the stage, or at least not unless there’s a really exceptional part on offer…

Fred has been a member of the Players since 1985! His very first show was one of the Music Halls that were very popular both with the Players and with our large audiences. As well as being the man in charge of the Tuesday night work group, Fred is also in charge of making the magic happen during show week as Backstage Manager. Yep, he’s the one on the radio who tells everyone to go, go, go. He’s also the only person in the theatre who knows where all the proper ‘boy’ tools are kept and possibly the only one who will dare use them all.

Using the chopsaw

Playing with the chopsaw

I did a little informal interview with Fred (and the rest of the Tuesday group joining in) yesterday during teabreak to get some more fascinating facts:

  • Fred has appeared on stage 3 times! He was an Italian waiter with the ‘best Italian accent ever’ (direct quote) in Philomena. He also made a special appearance during Time Was with his trusty sidekick, Nick. He even tap danced across the stage once!
  • His favourite set to build was The Good Hope where we built Whitby – interesting sets with moving bits are his most favourite to build
  • He loves to eat biscuits and chinese takeaway when we work on Saturdays but ssshhh, don’t tell his wife…
  • When he’s not playing with chopsaws he likes to play with his model railway and make streetlights (I’m still not quite sure what that was about, anyone care to enlighten me?)
  • He really didn’t like having his photo taken and told me he was on the ‘wrong side of the camera’ which is very true as Fred also takes most of the photos for each play
Happy birthday to Fred

Happy birthday!

We all love Fred, he is the best! Please join us in wishing Fred a very Happy Birthday from everyone at Billingham Players! And I only have one thing left to say – don’t forget the cake…