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Dame’s Diary Day Three

November 29, 2012

Wednesday 28th November

I had the morning off, and spent it visiting the dentist! Not a good time for a filling to fall out, but better now than during the run! I bumped into Keith when I got to the rehearsal room- we both have an archive of panto and variety in our brains, and I think that a “Spotlight” feature on Keith will be forthcoming by the end of the run!

Talking of Spotlight features, I’m hoping to complete and send to Simon a very special spotlight feature on a dame who made his Dame Debut at the Grand in Wolverhampton- Freddie Lees. One of my pleasures during the run, between shows probably, will be to complete the list of all the many pantomimes he’s appeared in since appearing at The Grand with several live lions! I get a cuddly Duck and a Monkey, but live lions- the full story will be in the feature, so look out for Spotlight On Freddie Lees coming your way shortly!

Today Andrew ran us through Act Two and in between I had a music call with David and a dance call with Steven. I use that term Dance Call loosely, as Steven got his eight amazing dancers doing amazing things around me and very kindly makes me look as if I’m moving as well! With all that fruit on my head at the time it’s probably safer I don’t move too much! We’re talking about my “Copa” number!


We ran the scenes in Cloudland, in the Giant’s kitchen and back on earth. Sherrie has been appearing on loose women as well, and has been putting in very full days. The show is now taking shape under the watchful eye of Andrew, and today we had a sample of Giant Blunderbore. The Giant will be a very very big giant, and very sophisticated in his various mechanisms- I won’t give too much away, but for rehearsal purposes Paul (Rivers) put his stilts on and helped us do scenes with Blunderbore. In performance the Giant will be a great deal taller and a pretty ferocious ally for Sherrie to terrorise the village- and a great part of the fun of doing “Jack” is getting on the set with the giant props- huge thrones, tables and I imagine cooking pots!

Steven- our choreographer on a rare break!

Director Andrew with Neil, Dave and Paul

No sign of the other companies in the rehearsal venue today- I think our breaks didn’t co-incide, so I’ve not bumped into the Nottingham mates since Monday- perhaps we’ll bump into each other tomorrow.

The legend that is panto has spread far and wide- and I will be giving an interview to a spanish newspaper, based in Barcelona, trying to explain Panto to the Spanish readers- not an easy task! At first I thought there might be a connection with Sherrie’s “Benidorm” appearances, but apparently it is a feature about British humour and traditions at Christmas!

Ken in King Crumble’s Village

So today was a lot of running scenes, learning lines, and “putting it together”. Tomorrow Keith, Ben and I will be working on our song in the Dairy, and on the song that ends the first half, and during the afternoon the ensemble will join us. This is when Andrew and Steven work them into all our scenes- remember we haven’t seen them since Monday morning, as they’ve been next door working on all the dance routines.

Keith- Talk to the hand!

Newcastle Panto has opened- and is now up and running, so I can’t wait to speak to Chris Hayward, playing Empress Of China there, to find out how it is all going! By Monday when we are all installed in Wolverhampton a lot more pantomimes will start rehearsing all over the country.

Sherrie- direct from the Loose Women studio

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