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  • Kat Flaxman

Learning the Ropes, Scarlet Style- A Blog Post

I know it has been said many times already, but, my gosh the radio plays are FUN!

In the six weeks so far leading up to performance night, I can’t count how many times I’ve burst into uncontrollable laughter. Nor how many times our poor director has sat with her head in her hands waiting for us to recompose ourselves and get on with the job in hand!

I joined the University of Kent Players in late 2016 and have acted in every production since then. It has been whirlwind adventure and I honestly can’t imagine my life without the Players and the people who make it. If you’ve been even remotely considering joining – do it, I promise you will not regret it.

My experience with The Scarlet Pimpernel has been a bit different from previous shows as I volunteered to shadow direct and learn the ropes of putting a production together (and, it would seem, keeping control of an unruly cast). I’ve been following Vicky and Kevin around a bit like a bad smell, or an annoying puppy that yaps at you incessantly; lurking in various character meetings and scrolling through their every message on WhatsApp. The first thing I've learned is that shadow directing is slightly creepy. The second thing I’ve learned is that there is much more to directing than just wafting through the door and telling everyone what to do for two hours.

This is the first production that is being managed completely by the directorial team. From selling the tickets, to hiring tech equipment, to all advertising and marketing. As an am dram group, we all have to pitch in to make it work, and that has been especially true of The Scarlet Pimpernel. I’ve had to roll my socks up and get stuck in, helping to organise costumes and the after show party, ordering and making props, drafting and sending VIP emails and lots of little odd jobs that ensure everything runs smoothly. Well, smooth-ish.

The problem is, I’m also part of the cast, and usually one of the main culprits for any disruption. So, when the time comes to embark on my own directing adventure, I most definitely won’t be casting myself!

Kat Flaxman, Actor and Shadow Director


The University of Kent Players will be writing weekly blog posts throughout the rehearsal and production period of The Scarlet Pimpernel. If you are interested in joining the University of Kent Players, finding out more about a specific role, or have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us at

Tickets for The Scarlet Pimpernel are on sale here:

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