And so my time with Nineteen12 and The BFG has come to an end. Saying goodbye to Queenie, packing up my giant head and rolling up my royal duvet was a toughie. I forged new friendships and strengthen old ones, learnt new skills and I polished those I already had. It feels odd not going into the theatre or rehearsal space, carrying around my script or practicing my puppetry. Yet, I made memories. Dozens and dozens of them. I’ve been on adventures to tiny towns and big cities, laughed so hard I have pulled muscles, ate far too many dirty Dominos, bought pink ‘John Lennon’ sunglasses for both practical and impractical use, tried new restaurants, watched different shows, pushed my own boundaries and built up my confidence.
It isn’t just the show, it is everything that goes with the experience. The discipline, the professionalism, the social engagement, the sleep deprivation, powering through illness and pain with a smile on your face. The fact that you are constantly striving to better yourself. However, it isn’t just the immediate group of people who are important. Everyone who came in contact with the show makes an impact on the company, hopefully the same way we make an impact on those who choose to watch our work. Every person who phoned the box office for a ticket, every person who looked up the company, every person who popped in to rehearsals, every person who helped made and dress the sets, every person who asked me about it, every person I overheard talking about it in passing.
I have so many special memories. From naughty backstage antics, to corpsing in every rehearsal. The inside jokes that were slipped into the script and pranks pulled every week. One memory, that spanned months in real life but second in my mind, was being measured, photographed and coloured matched, only to then see a real, tangible, miniature, puppet version of me appear with a crown on her head and wearing a satin ball gown.
Another moment I shall keep with me always was when a child got so into the show that we could hear them laughing backstage. They then cut my line off to answer the BFG’s questions themselves. I struggled to keep a straight face, but my heart almost burst with pride that someone was enjoying the show that much. It is moments like that that let us know we are doing something worth while.
So for the last time I shall say the closing line, this time with a lot more finality: