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Betty’s Saturday Matinee Blog!

March 2, 2014


Chris’s amazing Mural (just one section of it!) on the wall outside Brick Lane. I took this photo as I went in to work today.

Saturday 1st March 2014

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant Hapus!  That’s “Happy Saint David’s Day” from Brick   Lane!

An unusual day for me, as it is the first Saturday Matinee- and what a great crowd they were. Looking at at the audience they are really so near and up close to you, it is a great experience to work in close proximity. Very different to the gigantic Venue Cymru or Birmingham Hippodrome, and I hope I’m learning something each time- working the “hall” so to speak. Had fun up there today I must say, as we all did backstage!

Betty’s Boyfriend yesterday (Friday) chosen by chance (and the aid of a torch!) was “Robert from Dagenham”. It turns our Robert Rogers has, recently, very generously donated funds to allow Brick Lane to buy a defibrillator in memory of his Dad, as well as donated towards the “Outreach” arm of Brick Lane to take shows out to care homes In memory of his Mum,who  enjoyed the Brick Lane Shows.

Here’s a picture of the Plaque to Robert’s Dad.

Dad small

Robert has once again contributed to help two shows be taken out to care homes in the future in his Dad’s name, and these will be undertaken by Brian, Michael and Joni in the near future! What a lovely gesture- the ongoing raffle helps to fund these Outreach schemes every show, and takes a bit of nostalgia, fun and a good old sing-a-long to the care homes in the South.


Yesterday I had a very Happy Birthday at Brick   Lane. Today was the turn of Vincent. Mr Hayes for also surprised at the curtain call with a Birthday Cake, and the cast, staff  & Audience serenading him with a “Happy Birthday”!

It was a two cake day- mine from yesterday devoured in the break, and Vincent’s after the show. I think Rusty had a bite or two of cake. I could be wrong.. He may be quite fond of a nibble. King Rat’s prerogative I guess!

Sitting in the interval chatting to Gary, Andy and David about shows we’ve done in the past, eating sandwiches and cake during the 45 minute “Tea” break between acts, little did we know there was plenty more cake where that came from! Suzanne Plumb front of House, by the bye makes some incredible cakes-at “Heart Of Cakes”- themed cakes and wedding cakes. There are some amazing ones shaped like a Tea Set that she has created recently. I’ll get the pictures and add them next week. Works of edible art! This was the one made to celebrate Vincent’s trip to Buckingham Palace recently.



Betty Cuts her cake Baby Jane Style!

Today’s show means there are actually only THREE “Big Dick Whittingtons” left now! Next week there are an additional two Music Hall performances, so the venue will play Five Days, but The Panto will be on only for Tuesday and Friday Matinees, and the final evening show on Saturday. Can hardly believe where the time has gone. It seems like yesterday when we were rehearsing, but in fact it was nearly seven weeks ago!


Marie Antionette had the right idea!

I’ve had the great pleasure of living in Pantoland for the past five months, with the Panto Roadshow tour of East London, Bradford, Wolverhampton, Glasgow and Southampton leading up to “Sleeping Beauty” at Llandudno, and into rehearsals for Brick Lane. Before that I was deep into costuming the Ilford “Aladdin”, and you know what- it won’t be too long before I’ll be thinking about costuming their forthcoming pantomime- I’m not sure if it has been announced yet, so I’ll turn again before starting..

Bit by bit the news will trickle in to us here at IBY regarding Pantomimes across the UK as they get announced. Some have already done this (Qdos have a few names listed on their website) but in the main it will be the Summer before the list starts to plump out. Simon and I will keep adding information as it reaches us.

Here at Brick Lane the thoughts will soon turn to the next shows- The Irish Show will be the next main attraction, and has all the shows listed. It also has the weekly Backstage news and pictures about the panto being updated until we close. Keep checking in!

A bit of news for those who know Freddie Lees. Freddie is recovering in hospital after an operation. Hopefully by next week I might be able to go along and visit him there.He’s not been very well, but is getting the very best of care and recovery close to his home. Any friends who want to send wishes can email me here on and I’ll make sure he gets to see them.

Two days off until the next Panto performance, a Matinee Tea show on Tuesday next.

Isn’t it great to be in panto in March- like the good old days at the Swansea Grand when the panto opened Boxing Day and went on until March- certainly past St David’s Day!

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