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A Dame’s Diary: Boxing Day

December 27, 2012

Returning after Christmas- that sounds like we’ve been away on long holidays when, of course, along with every panto in the country, we’ve had the one day off! Some have travelled long distances, and others, like me, were just a few miles down the road.

The Boxing Day Matinee can be notorious as a hard house to play. Audiences stuffed with Turkey dinners and a little too much booze can be hard to win over! Our matinee were very perky and the evening the same.Traditionally of course this was the day when all pantomimes opened- then ran through until mid February.

That thought made it all the more sad to learn that one panto- The Echo Arena panto in a Big Top in Liverpool has closed. It cancelled several performances before finally calling it a day on Christmas Eve. How terribly sad for the performers and crew (as well as the audiences booked) that this has happened.Our thoughts go out to all those panto folk today.

Here in The Grand we had something that is now more or less a tradition around the UK. The Panto Picnic between shows! You all bring something- be it left over turkey and mince pies, or food you’ve got from M&S and put it with all the other offerings on a table on stage!

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Nicola organised the whole event, and it was a lovely hour spent on stage- without having to sing, dance or remember lines! Santa made his appearance, looking curiously like Paul Rivers our Giant, riding not a sleigh but a mobility scooter. Funny that! Towing a Dame’s wicker skip laden with “secret Santa” gifts for all the good boys and girls in the company!

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I’d offered my services up as lounge pianist for the dining experience, giving our resident MD a rest- he and his gentlemen of the orchestra joined cast and crew on the village green so to speak.

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Keith had his family in to watch the show, and it was lovely to meet up with them once again, then after a swift clear away the stage returned to preset for the opening of Act One.

I think I’ve become too cocky with my driving skills. I notched up the speed of the mobility scooter from snail to mildly brisk this evening, and consequently crashed into three clouds while reversing during the show.Must try better.. or else Churchill and Gio will be called for!

The Twelve Dames Of Christmas feature online has been completed, with Chris Biggins the last Dame to be added. Sally Mais Blog in completion can be found on

There are a lot of stunning Dame Pics on this site!

Ben’s Birthday day before yesterday and Paul’s birthday tomorrow. We celebrated, Miss Hewson, Paul and I back at the hotel with a pre birthday drink. Apparently the world went mad in the sales today- we missed it all in our fairytale setting of two shows. Might venture to the odd shop later this week, but keeping away from cold bearing crowds of people seems the best thing at the moment. Lots of sleep, lots of food and our celebrity Fat Club starts again tomorrow. Exercising between shows resumes then.

Hope everyone in pantoland had a great day off, and for many this will be the first full twelve show week- one of the very busiest of the run. Packed houses everywhere I hope!

One Comment
  1. Ben Miller permalink

    Its nice to see the props table being put to some good use in between shows! lol

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