Ali’s tour summary
What an incredible journey! I am so proud of having produced such a successful tour. I had lots of help from SAGS, SAGS WAGS and our producers and have also spent hours and hours (and hours) of my free time on making this a success. I have desperately missed my wife and daughter, hence booking a holiday the week after the tour ended! What I enjoyed the most has been twofold – firstly meeting so many new audiences who are genuinely amazed and delighted at the magic we create on stage, and secondly spending time with my beloved SAGS, I love them all and have never laughed so much over the last two months!
Christine’s tour summary
SAG’s on Tour… who’da thought it!? Yes it was hard work. Long drives, not much sleep, unhealthy food at times 🙂 but above all else we laughed long and hard! I had to learn very quickly how to juggle work, family and the SAG tour without something spontaneously combusting. I’m pleased to say, all is still intact. As I reflect back, I see hundreds of happy, smiling, laughing faces and that’s not just our audiences, but SAG’s too! We had a riot, and I fell a little bit more in love with all of them! I met so many new people, made new friends, saw the familiar faces of my friends and SAG ‘regulars’ across all of the gigs. The title of our tour ‘Spreading the Love’, well it really did what it said on the tin, to share and join in with the laughter! I felt so much laughter love coming back at us, and for that, I thank each and every one of you that made it possible for us.
Hannah’s tour summary
The tour was a fantastic experience that I will never forget, and it just seemed to fly by so quickly!! From arriving at that first venue in Bristol to the long drive home from Newcastle it was an exhausting, exciting and exhilarating couple of months that I enjoyed every second of. When we set out to do this I don¹t think any of us imagined that we would sell out so many shows and I am so proud of our achievements and appreciated the wonderfully warm feedback we received from the lovely peeps we met at each venue. Big thanks to everybody who helped make it happen, and let¹s see where 2015 takes us!!!
Kate’s tour summary
It is I, La Kate, the one never nowadays to be glimpsed on stage beyond the environs of Brighton or the parental babysitting haven of the Midlands. Indeed, I was only released from my other great comedy impro role as Molly’s Mummy for 5 of our 15 shows. So statistically, only 1 in 3 SAG audience members have had my bounteous love spread all over them. There is plenty of it to be had, but Mohammed/Mountain etc. The SAGGY Bosom of my Brighton hometown always welcomes visiting Impro friends, and I’ll be delighted to spread for you.
I loved the shows I did manage to join my comedy comrades for in Brighton, Birmingham, Coventry and Leicester. Brighton is always a joy, and it feels great to have regular SAG friends in the audience, but one fabulous aspect of performing to new audiences, was getting to know brilliant new people too (this was particularly fun in Coventry & Birmingham as we didn’t have to rush off, so had chance to chat). It was refreshing to have so many who were new to improvised comedy and we had some brilliant audience suggestions for our scenes and songs.
Midlands show memories…
Theatre cats, KuSan hats
Perfect venue, curry on the menu
Poppy tins, toothy grins
Flapjack in the car, Ill-fitting bra
Other Ali loom-banding on the back seat, are your mum’s brownies free of wheat
Packed lunch for the whole crew, leave the tea bag in (Mitch lets it stew)
SAG BAB carsick, placcy bag double-quick
Poster on car window, need to let air in though
Absolutely lovely staff, brilliant to hear you laugh
70s creepy baby doll, pelvic floor risk when I LOL
Deflating air bed through the night, sound check – levels not quite right
Running low on chairs in Brum, how are you going to park your bum?
Audience suggestions thick and fast, I’m sure this tour won’t be our last… On a personal note, it was so lovely to be able to bring a good few of the Girlies back to stay with my folks in my old family home in the village of Inkberrow. Molly was thrilled to be with Nanny & Grandad, collecting conkers and feeding ducks, and was of course almost beside herself with excitement to have her beloved Short & Girlie friends transported there too! And I could be completely ridiculous messing around on stage and laughing myself silly, happy in the knowledge that our SAG BAB Molly was perfectly fine.
The shows seemed to whizz by, and whether our audiences were or not, I was left wanting more! More time to play please! I’m already looking forward to our next Brighton gig on Sat 13th Dec!
Lara’s tour Summary
It took me some time to convince the other Girlies that a tour would be a good idea. I was confident that a solo set from the magnificent Hannah Brackenbury followed by some new material from myself and a full hour from the Short and Girlies was a winning format and would provide a fabulous evening’s entertainment. Specifically for an audience outside of London and Brighton where the SAGS had already performed regularly. I wanted to take our unique combination of humour out to the provinces, out to the sticks….out to the people.
I’ve been on the road wearing one hat or another for 25 years. I’ve tour managed, company managed and stage managed; I’ve designed and plotted lights, built sets and made props; I’ve driven vans and sold programmes…but it’s always been on the other side of the curtain. As part of their Silver Jubilee Tour in 2009/10 I was fortunate enough to appear onstage with Fascinating Aida and now it was my turn to actually tour my own show. I was feeling very excited. And very ready.
Not ready for what actually happened next though!
When we finally got the tour together that’s when I started to get a bit scared. It had been my idea after all, I had enthused and cajoled – what if no one came? Our first night in Bristol not only assuaged my fears but filled me with a reinvigorated sense of excitement and optimism. To have a conversation with the venue manager about the seating arrangements “so we can fit everyone in…” was beyond even my wildest expectations. And it was a conversation I kept having to have! Not “where is everybody?” as I had feared but “how are we going to fit everyone in?”
Our marketing (some may call it blatant prostitution) had worked! We played to packed houses every night and the memory of looking out over a sea of lovely smiling faces; of watching audiences ‘get’ us; of talking to people after the show and feeling their buoyancy and joy at having just laughed their arses off – that will stay with me for a long time – job done.
And what a gorgeous bunch of girls to hang out with. Not just the SAGS but the WAGS too. What a team. I’m smiling just thinking about it all. Such good times. And so lovely to see old friends come out to the show and meet new people who are now total fans and have such warmth and hospitality extended to us all over the country. Our Spreading The Love tour could not have been more aptly titled and I for one am looking forward to spreading more love, a lot further, very soon.
Mitch’s tour summary
What a whirlwind it has been and I am only just arriving back in my body! This could be the start of something big… I hope! I loved Lara’s idea of the tour from the beginning and thought about it for a long time. Then there it was happening and we were living the rock’n’roll dream. Deep down I have always known that my true destiny lies in performing comedy and I am so grateful for the opportunity to express this with my SAGS sistas (and with interpretive dance which I often incorporate).
I am the only member who lives in Bristol and over the 10 years of being part of the SAGS, have spent many a Friday and Saturday doing 6 or 8 hour journeys there and back to Brighton or London just to keep my foot in the improv pond and let out my inner funny. So I was absolutely thrilled to kick start the tour in my home town at the Halo bar. Now this was a magical and one of the best nights on the tour with standing room only and astounding gifts from the home crowd! Who could forget the panto horse in ‘how did you meet’ and the dogs exploding anal gland blues or “I came out as straight to my lesbian mother” in ‘changes’ (that was my daughter Halo little gem!)
So many wonderful, ecstatic and incredible venues with equally amazing audiences, culminating in the brilliant Stand in Newcastle where we had a standing ovation! Sure we have been truly spreading the love and who knows what we will do next… we might even go to Ireland or Wales! I am blessed and proud to be a Short and Girlie may we live long and prosper. I cannot thank our gorgeously industrious producer Ali and the rest of the SAGS and WAGS for committing and being their hilariously creative selves and supporting this process. You work so hard to make it happen you fierce formidable women, I love you all so much more.
Other Ali’s tour summary
This is really hard to write. It’s hard to write mostly because it makes me miss the tour so very much. We had the most incredible time and it’s really thanks to our fans, supporters and SAGSistas that we were able to pull off such an ambitious plan.
From the very moment we all agreed that this was a good idea to my head dropping onto my pillow at 2am after our last show in Newcastle, I have had unique experience after unique experience. The tour enabled me to meet so many new and wonderful people, and also reconnect with my family who lives far and wide across the country. As the offspring of an Irish immigrant, my family has never really congregated in one place, and the Hannons are dotted here there and everywhere. You can always spot a Hannon though, as they’ll be the one at the bar with the largest version of their drink telling strangers jokes and flirting with the bar staff. FACT.
The SAGs have changed my life in a very profound way. The love, compassion and genuine desire to create joy and laughter they have shown me is very special. The tour felt very much like a culmination of some lessons what I have learned. And, boy, have I done some learnin’! In no particular order, this is what I have learned from being a SAG:
- Give gifts – always try and get the best from people by giving them an opportunity to shine. It makes everyone look better.
- Don’t fear silence – sometimes a pause is the most powerful thing in the world, and often the funniest.
- Mistakes only change the game – they do not define you and can lead you somewhere you never thought you could go; use them.
- Humour connects people in a powerful way – it is the greatest component of any relationship and the one that keeps you connected, even when times are tough.
- If you don’t believe in yourself, ask someone to believe in you for you – case in note, SINGING GAMES.
I want to take this opportunity to thank every single person who has been part of this madness. I thank my wonderful and supportive friends and family who don’t let me take myself too seriously. I also want to thank everyone who has ever made a suggestion or shouted a profanity at one of our shows. You are part of this! I also want to thank the SAGSWAGS whose unfaltering support has been what has made this fun and achievable. Finally I would like to express my gratitude via the medium of inappropriate touching to the SAGs. You are tremendous, beautiful, ridiculous and inspirational.
So emotions. Such cry. So wow. Very love.
Goodbye for now.
Samantha’s tour summary
I loved every minute of the tour. It was an exciting, hilarious, exhausting, heartwarming, bonding & Love Spreading experience & was way more than any of us could have imagined & we sold out every gig. EVERY GIG!! We now have so many amazing plans for taking The Short & Girlie Show onwards & upwards, back out across the country & further…. Exciting stuff!
A final word about spending so much time with my SAG sisters & their WAGs – It has been an absolute delight. (Really?) Yes, really! I ❤ SAGS&WAGS