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Wimbledon Cinderella 1998

March 27, 2012

A few days ago I came across a few photographs that I probably havent looked at in fourteen years. The venue was Wimbledon, and the theatre had literally just been re-opened after a major refurbishment. The entire dressing room block was brand new. So brand new that there was no glass in the windows when Peter and I attempted to move in to the dressing room! We stored our costumes in what is now a small kitchen backstage. We had to delay the opening of the pantomime a week as the building wasn’t ready, and tagged the week on to the end of the run!

      

The panto starred Bradley Walsh- we had been with him the previous year in Nottingham, with Britt Ekland as Fairy Godmother, Melanie Stace as possibly the tallest Cinderella I’ve ever worked with, Craig Urbani, who had recently been playing Buddy in the West End, Kriss Akabusi, world record Holder for hurdling and presenter of Record Breakers at that time, TV Critic Garry Bushell played Baron, and got some light hearted stick from his Critic associates, and the wonderful Tony Hudson was our Chamberlain and Company Manager.Peter and myself were “Sisters” of course and last but not least Ward Allen and Roger The Dog as Broker’s men.

     

Over 28 years Peter & I had worked with quite a few “Vent” acts, but the two we worked with most often were Dawson Chance and Ward Allen. I can remember getting on the tube each evening- undredressed with my jeans on under the finale dress for a quick get-away, and sitting in a carriage full of children who were all chanting “Superdog.. Weeeeeeeeee!” all the way home. Ward has a catchy catchphrase!

The show was directed by Lisa Kent, and was presented by Paul Elliott. It was fascinating to see the backstage area last Christmas when I went to see the Dame Edna “Dick Whittington” there, and visit Eric Potts in our old dressing room. I have to say, hand on heart that the Old Old Dressing rooms, pre 1998 are still my favourite. They had a charm and a character that these breezeblock rooms don’t have, and had more hanging space! In those old rooms on the first floor we’d all keep our doors open and basically use the middle landing as a green room- June Whitfield had her dog Rabbit wandering around, Rolf Harris would be inventing something that involved a drill and a lot of glue in his room and Peter and I would supply the cast with tea on an hourly basis!

     

Anyway, here are those forgotten backstage pictures. They bring back some happy memories.

      

From → Miscellaneous

One Comment
  1. Graham Smith permalink

    I remember it well, Nigel. The launch (I have some super pics of that in my scrapbook with Britt and her coach and horses)), loads of Cadbury promoting chocolate with you and Peter and then visiting you both and seeing the show … plus meeting Bradley. Great days! Graham x

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