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A Babes’s Blog!

December 28, 2013

One of the Pearl Shaw Babes, Phoebe McKernon is today’s guest blogger! The Pearl Shaw school is based in nearby Colwyn Bay, where some of the students are appearing in “Dick Whittington” there. Founded in 1974 the school is now enlarged and fully equipped for dance and performing arts training here in North Wales. Phoebe is one of sixteen “Babes” here at Venue Cymru this season. Over to Phoebe!

Two Shows & A Babes Party


On the 19th  December we each wrote invitations to the cast to come to our Christmas Eve Party.

   Christmas Eve – We had two shows 1 pm and 5 pm.  All the babes had each brought in some food for our party along with our Secret Santa present for each other.       We changed into our first costumes and put on our make up and our usual ton of glitter.

 We each blew up either a Father Christmas or Snowman Balloon and hung them on our hooks.                                                   We were all excited and we could not wait any longer so just before the 1 pm show we opened our Secret Santa presents with minutes to spare before the first show.

  Christmas Eve was a cold and windy day.  Backstage was also cold so we had the heaters on.  I brought up my hoodie to keep me warm in between going on stage.

  The first show went well and after the show we went to our dressing room to be greeted by a lovely spread of food which the evening Chaperones had laid out.

  We put our dressing gowns on to cover up our costumes so we could eat when our guests arrived.  We put a sign at the top of the stairs and also waited there to direct our guests to our dressing room.  All the cast came and our dressing room has never been so packed.  Everybody had fun .  We had lots of food and took lots of photographs with the cast and the babes.

 Some of the cast started to leave to get ready for the 5 pm show.  The dancers stayed for a little longer to chat.  We gave them a balloon  each as they loved them so much.  The Snowman balloon ended up wearing  a Santa Christmas hat !!

  It was time to tidy up and get ready for our next show at 5 pm.  The audience was loud and excited.  The four Gorillas doing the can can had Christmas hats on.  Everybody was happy and looking forward to spending time with their families and friends and opening their presents on Christmas morning.

   It was fantastic doing Panto on Christmas Eve and I did not want the day to end.

Thanks Phoebe!

Friday 27th December

Gales back again! The winds were stronger than before at times, and as I turned the corner from the Prom I actually had to do lamp-post hugging to remain upright for a few seconds. The wind could literally take you off your feet!

The theatre creaked and groaned- “The Isle is full of strange noises!” as the wind howled and we were more grateful than ever for the big orange heaters backstage. My Brother Vivyan had planned to surprise me by turning up to see the show, but sadly trains from Euston were once again cancelled.

Amazingly the hardy car and coach travelling folk of North Wales arrived in their droves, and we played to two absolutely full houses. Not a seat to be had, which is not bad in a 1500 auditorium!


Thoughts are now on packing up. Helen and I spent a while between shows preparing the skips and bags ready for the Sunday pack-as-you-go, so that by the end of the show I am all done and dusted. We will be assisted by Christina who did a splendid packing job two years ago!

Barrie Stacey rang me between shows with the sad news that Barry Hopkins has passed away. Barry was a very popular Principal Boy in Pantomimes and a favourite of Swansea Audiences with appearances in Swansea Grand Theatre Pantomime in the 1970’s. He was a popular cabaret and cruise singer and later turned his skills to photography. A sad loss, and a lovely man.

The Can Y Bae was reopened tonight, so a crowd of us descended on the warm theatre bar and comfy sofas for a drink. Tomorrow I’m packing my case and wheeling it into the theatre, just leaving a small bag to take back on the train on Monday morning. Hoping there IS a train on Monday morning!

Both shows were great fun, even though the dreaded winter cold has started to rob me of my upper register. Lemsips were taken and I managed a bass baritone Dame for both shows! Still got the laughs so I think I’m more than audible!

Tomorrow two shows and our Last Night Party at the Venue, meeting up with the Colwyn Bay “Dick Whittington Company”.

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