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Close Sesame!

January 2, 2012

Aladdin’s cave closed tonight finally after just over three magical weeks, and five weeks in total.

Like the genie’s appearance, it needed someone to rub the lamp and produce the magic- that person is Simon Delaney, our amazing Director. He has created the fun slick and special show that we’ve had the pleasure of presenting twice a day at Venue Cymru.

The next bit of magic being a lovely and talented cast- In the words of the musical “Gypsy”, “No fits, no fights, no feuds and no egos- Amigos, Together!” This joint effort has provided us with a happy company and created a new panto family.

Each day we’ve got together for a fun warm-up before “The Half”- here are a few pictures:


The two shows today sped past- this is what happens on the last day. Already our thoughts and minds are on packing, travelling and in doing the best two shows to bow out on. Bless Michael and Dave from our friendly Hotel, The Can-y-Bae- they booked yet again, bringing more people with them for the fifth, possibly sixth time, cheering us on from the circle second show.

By the time we reached “between Shows”- just over an hour, I had virtually emptied my dressing room, and had the two skips ready for the “get-out”. Everything was in the Quick Change Area, and Elly had visited “Staples” to secure me a large box to replace the original box that had belonged to Danny La Rue that we believe was inadvertently thrown out by the cleaners. That was one well travelled cardboard box that.

Twankey's Dressing Room Last Show

Visited by Sarah the Theatre Manager between shows to say goodbye. I thanked her for the hospitality we’ve all received from the theatre and its staff. Next year will be “Peter Pan”, so I hope NeverNever Land is as happy a place as Peking has been to us! As you see by this photo, even Aladdin thinks finishing a fab season is Pants!

Had help from of Christine in the crew to pack as we go, so that by the end of the show I was left with just the clothes I came off from the finale in. Time being of the essence tonight- due to the date- New Year’s Eve, the actual get-out of lighting, scenery and costume boxes will be done on Tuesday, after the Bank Holidays. Venue Cymru is “dark” this week until “The King & I” comes in, so the lorries will arrive in three days time.

Not so for the Qdos staff- Rachael and Lisa along with Fran on Stage Management and Elly, Lisa and Helen had about forty-five minutes to pack props and costumes ready for the theatre to arrange their collection on Tuesday.

They were not alone- I telephoned my mate Ray Meagher at the Palace Theatre in between shows- his stint in “Priscilla” ends tonight as well, and the curtain falls for the last time on this long running musical. Everything- props, scenery and wardrobe will be shipped to South America on Tuesday, and the company had a similar forty-five minutes to leave the building before “lock Down”, when the theatre would be locked tight until their get out on Tuesday Morning. Some of “Priscilla” have been there for years- hopefully they packed in advance! Bid farewell to Ray who returns to Australia week after next.

Here in Aladdin’s Cave I finished the last show standing on stage hugging everyone before they  vanished- and as I predicted yesterday, vanish they did. As I made my way up the stairs in my dressing gown, removing my microphone folk sped down the staircase and through the stage door- there was a family or a party waiting for them somewhere in the country!

By the time I removed my make-up most people had gone, and when I was in my “civvies” I walked down onto the stage to check on my skips and boxes- the place was deserted!

How weird is THAT? Twenty minutes before 1,500 people watched actors, musicians and saw the magic created by the stage management, crew and technicians. Now, in that brief passage of time I was alone on that stage, about seven people left in the building- our stalwart Qdos Stage Management and wardrobe filling props boxes and big blue wardrobe boxes.

The cave had magically closed- and my panto family were already on the road heading for home. I had texts during the night, and towards midnight. Tim and Marc had hired a car and I think got home about an hour after midnight, others made it by 10pm.

The curtain fell at 7.45pm. By 8.25 I too left the building. Thank you Llandudno- you have given us all a truly splendid and happy pantomime season. I’ll miss all you lovely “Aladdin” guys!!

More pictures will follow, as I will receive them from the theatre- lots of Act Two pictures of the show to share as soon as I get them, so for now keep checking Twankey’s Tit-Bits for further updates!

Hope you’ve enjoyed following this brief blog- Here’s to next year!

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  1. Terry Powell permalink

    Great bit of blogging Nigel; enjoyed every sentence!
    Did the lamp also reveal where you are blogging from next year?

  2. well it certainly was a joy to have met you and everyone else, speaking as one of the parents of the babes, it will be something never to be forgotten, well done to everyone x

  3. Nigel permalink

    Ahh ‘Tis a mystery that only the scrolls of time will tell!

  4. algeriatouchshriek permalink

    Congrats on another brilliant blog – lovely mix of gossip, detail and backstage drama.


  5. Hey Nigel, not sure if you’ll be reading this – hopefully you will! I took the photos of Act 2 on the final day, and have them ready. Billy isn’t in at the moment, so not sure if you left your contact details. If you want to forward them on to me, I’m at gary atsymbol Alternatively, if you give the theatre a call on 01492 879771 you can leave your details at reception.

    I’ll get a disc in the post to you.



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