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A Dame’s Diary: Saturday 19th January

January 20, 2013

The snow stopped today, but it is mighty cold. No longer complaining about how hot it is backstage I can tell you! Standing there dressed in nothing but a deckchair you do feel a cold snap around the holidays..

Arrived at the Grand early to discover we’ll be doing today without Niki. She has been called away due to family illness and all our thoughts are with her over this difficult time.We’re all sending you lots of love Niki.

Sian, The Fairy Fortune understudy took over and had a brief rehearsal with the Musical Director David and ran through her moves. Sian has been prepared for this for a while, and sailed through both performances without dropping a line or missing a beat! Well done! The importance of those understudy rehearsals over the past weeks cannot be underestimated, and the audience were with her from the start.

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Today was a busy social day during which we managed to do two packed shows. Great audiences for both performances today- really up for a good time. Sian may have been word perfect but sadly Trott was not! Dame Trott that is. In the first show I said to my son “Ohhh, I know you Jack Tripp….” I have no idea where THAT came from! Jack of course was one of our premier Dames and indeed played this lovely theatre in Panto a few times- I’ll put it down to an unconscious tribute to one of our leading Panto persons!

My second show faux pas was very funny- for the audience and the cast. I am meant to tell Daisy that Jack will take her to market, “And find someone to love you, and well, sort of sell you to them…” No. Not tonight. I got my furds wuddled and declared “and sell ME to them”. Daisy shook her head and the audience laughed a lot!

Social day- between shows the Blue and Red team had the “Babes Party”, with lashings of lemonade in their spacious dressing room up in the rafters. That was fun. Lots of photographs, autographs and food of course!

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with Crew Bob at the Babes Party

     with Crew Bob at the Babes Party

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In between shows I was delighted to receive Pantomime Royalty in my boudoir. I had a visit from the legend that is Jean Bayless. Jean was Principal girl in no less than three London Palladium Pantomimes- one being Humpty Dumpty, and another with Jimmy Tarbuck. She was, of course the very first Maria in “The Sound Of Music” when it opened at the Palace Theatre in London, appeared on Broadway in “The Boyfriend” for a year, taking over from Julie Andrews, and appearing for three years in TV’s original “Crossroads” among other shows.

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I worked alongside Jean in a beautiful tour of “Perchance To Dream” in the ’80’s, and it was a huge joy to meet up with her and take her on a tour of backstage before seeing the panto. Accompanying Jean was my friends David and David- David Hartshorne being related to the late great Dorothy Ward, Doyen of Principal Boys and their party.

During the evening scene the brief “ad Lib” moment Ben and I have when I send him off to bed was a very funny one- the audience roared when he declared “I’m not the stupid one in the family. I didn’t buy the only house in the street with three walls…(pause) its draughty!”

Also in to see the show tonight was my B rother Vivyan, Owen Smith, Sarah Ford- readers of previous Diaries will remember Sarah as wardrobe on my “Snow White” and the previous “Jack & The Beanstalk”, and with Sarah was her friend Sean. We all congregated back at the Hotel afterwards for drinks and snacks that stretched far into the night, joined by Ken, Sherrie, Paul, Bob and Angela. I was actually the first to retire! The last two shows, packing and a get-out ahead means an early start tomorrow.

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Final two shows tomorrow- let’s hope the snow is kind to us all in pantoland.


From → Miscellaneous

One Comment
  1. Ian Carr permalink

    nice to see Mr.Tripp still haunts the grand ! last here with roy hudd in babes years ago, but an old pro will wait along time for a laugh

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