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Planning a live show

Whether you’re putting on a school production or rehearsing a pantomime, planning a live show can be rather daunting. Not only do you need the costumes, make-up, scripts, staging and all the technical equipment to be on point but you’ve also got to ensure everyone’s learnt their lines (and that’s never easy).

What’s more, you might want to consider getting the whole show recorded, particularly if children are involved, because parents will usually want to have a watchable memento – sites like can help with DVD and CD services.

With all of this to consider, it can leave you feeling exhausted before the curtains open.With this in mind, we’ve created a simple five-point checklist that will help you stay focused.

Choose a production and hold auditions

Once you’ve decided on a production and have finalised your script, it’s essential to hold auditions – after all, a good show needs a good cast. To do this, organise a judging panel and select one or two days in the week where you can watch people perform. Pick the best of the bunch – be it singers, dancers, leading ladies/men or background actors and give them their lines straight away. Knowing exactly how to hold auditions will save time and energy so do your research and go in with a plan.

Practice makes perfect so meet regularly

Practice makes perfect, so once you’ve selected your cast members, make sure you all meet regularly. Run through scenes, dance routines, choreography, stage presence and anything else you can think of and iron out all the creases before the productions goes live. If someone’s struggling to get something right, perhaps arrange one-on-one rehearsal sessions to help them feel more confident.

Don’t leave costumes or sets to the last minute

Costumes can make or break a performance. If the outfits look cheap and nasty, your production might come across the same, so don’t leave anything to chance. Hire the best costume designer in town, buy high-quality material if you’re making them yourself and have everyone measured so their clothes fit to perfection. Similarly, exciting backdrops will get the audience on your side, so cut, stick and paint away but make sure every last detail is covered – and don’t leave it all to the last minute.

Always run a thorough sound check before opening night

Whether you own a high-quality sound system or are borrowing this and that from friends, always run a thorough sound check before opening night. The last thing you want is a broken speaker or a faulty microphone, so try out all electrical items individually and together to ensure they don’t cause a blackout or something equally terrible. What’s more, it’s a good idea to note down the settings you need to use on various equipment so there’s no messing around on the night.

Organise the venue and make sure everyone can see

Organising the venue might be the last thing on your mind, but it’s of paramount importance when you’re hosting an event. Your audience must be comfortable, so arrange the chairs in an appropriate manner and don’t overcrowd the venue. Think carefully about seating areas and don’t stick someone behind a pillar just because you won’t to meet capacity – they won’t be happy, especially if they’ve paid. Running out of time? Then assign someone to do this job for you!

Of course, tickets, pricing, advertising, marketing and other details need to be perfected if your show is to be a success, but if you nail the above points, you’ll be on the right track.