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The Its-behind-you annual reunion!

December 20, 2013

Wednesday 18th December 2013


Today was our Twentieth Show, and we’re past the half-way mark, which is spooky when you consider Birmingham has yet to open, and Southampton has just had its (rave) review press night! Birmingham’s Dame is my gorgeous Mate Gary Wilmot seen here with the Stellar Cast of The Hippodrome!

rooney 007

To add to the occasion, Simon Curtis came along to see the Panto in his capacity as Equity Representitive for the region, The other half of that hugely popular website and as my mate! We had a quick catch up, and managed a tea at the Empire Hotel as the rained poured down, and rivers started to flow down the hill. I didnt envy him his five hour drive back to Cardiff in South Wales tonight. Great to see Simon, and to catch up.

Sleeping_Beauty-9300  Sleeping_Beauty-9291

A night for remembering mates tonight. It was at this time last year that pantoland and the Hippodrome lost its very favourite and hugely jolly soul, Ian Sandy. I can barely believe it is a year. We held a memorial tribute show this summer at the Hippo, and it raised a large amount of cash for his favourite charities. I so miss Ian. I so miss those hour long once a week chats that were just so funny. Ian was ALL about being jolly and being up, and that is how we all remember him. Miss you Mr Sindy as I used to call him- the name one of our teachers on the Roadshow referred to him by a decade ago.


Ian with Dan and the Roadshow Gang: My last picture of Ian.

We had a Tapas Company meal tonight and yes, I managed to get everything spicy removed. And yes, it tasted of nothing as a result! It was a fun night though with good company- we were joined by David and Michael from the “Can Y Bae” as well, which was lovely- and an excellent saxophonist playing throughout. I headed for The King’s Head with Steve Bassist, and we caught the tail end of a Christmas Quiz. The photo round question was about people in Panto, and Vicky Entwistle was the final answer!

rooneytable  rooney 004a

Thursday 19th 2013

We have done the last of the morning shows. I will miss them! Todays 2.15pm matinee was packed with children- 1,400-1,500 and they were as receptive as they have been in the mornings! The evening show was a magnificent “up for it” adult house, and were just the most fun to play to. We had a ball and they had a ball! Very keen to join in, John ended up almost having a one to one with an audience member in the Parties Shout Out session!


Great reviews for the Southampton “Robinson Crusoe” panto in the press! Andrew and I will be appearing on those telly screens tomorrow in Mr Dickinson’s “Real Deal” as part of the Text Santa day on ITV. It seems an age since we did it on our day off from twelve shows and the day before another Twelve Shows at Bradford this Autumn.

I’ve asked the Babes if they would like to do a Blog here, about their day in the theatre, and got a very enthusiastic response. The Pearl Shaw School will be blogging here very shortly. Watch this space!


Friday 20th 2013

The last day off before Christmas Day, and only nine days left here in beautiful Llandudno after today! I spent the day enjoying the town. I was like Belle in the opening of Beauty and The Beast! Marvelling in the friendliness of folk here. Even with the shops busy (for a population of 23,000) people are courteous, and the pace is relaxed. I took my shoes to a tiny cobblers in a back street, where I noticed that not only was he busy, but he knew everyones name. I was charged £1.50 for my shoe repair. I went to the immaculate launderette, “Bubbles” which has papers laid out to read and a television, and a selection of dogs to say hello to! Here’s a picture of the Can Y Bae’s resident Airdale- this is Rolo! Cute huh?


For lunchI had a lovely buck Welsh raebit, bumped into Adam and had a chat about Panto, and watched myself gurning in glorious colour next to Andrew Ryan on “The Real Deal” back at the Hotel! It seems ages since we shot that in Edgebaston in the very early hours of the morning!

Gales coming in and rain, but later on I braved it to The Empire Hotel for a meal, just me, Billy No Mates Tonight! I thought I should as it shuts tomorrow and won’t reopen until after we’ve departed Llandudno. Already bought a small bag for the return journey, and spoken to Rory at Qdos about the get-out costume arrangements. The show is half way through and already the thoughts are on December 29th.

Had a reminder from the BBC that Barbara Windsor’s “Oh Yes It IS” Panto programme on Radio 2 will now be broadcast at 10pm on Christmas Day. It will be repeated that week, and will be available on catch-up. The guest list is staggering! Stanley Baxter, Gyles Brandreth, Paul Elliott, Kevin Wood, The Krankies, Biggins, Su Pollard..I can go on and on.. Oh and yours truly! It is a Must Listen for all fans of panto. That means you, otherwise why would you be reading this! A glorious hour of Panto History, Tradition and anecdotes!

Here’s The Link:


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