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Betty’s FINAL Brick Lane Blog!

March 11, 2014

Saturday 8th March 2014

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Our Final Curtain Call- Thanks Joanne for the pictures!

The final performance of the pantomime here at Brick   Lane! We went out with a very full house and a good few friends and family in to see the show. Returning once again were Stevie Marc and Annie Galbraith. Stevie will be back next week to sort out some wigs for the upcoming Irish Show here.

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Chris, Annie & Stevie

Frequent visitors to Brick Lane Gaynor Martyne and Simon Masterson-Smith, stalwarts of the “Players Theatre” in London when it presented Music Hall in that lovely building-  were joined tonight by Lynda Baron.

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Lynda recently appeared on our screen reviving her role as Nurse Gladys Emmanuel in David Jason’s Christmas 2013 tribute to “Open All Hours”.She appeared on our screens in this comedy with Ronnie Barker and David Jason between 1976 and 1985, and played “Auntie Mabel” in the BBC Children’s Series “Come Outside” from 1993 to 1997. She gave a truly stunning performance as Ena Sharples in the excellent “The Road To Coronation   Street” production in 2010. The star of “Carry On Columbus”, “Follies” and numerous West End plays including “When We Are Married” will be appearing at Chichester shortly in “Stevie” opposite Zoe Wannamaker.

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Also in to see the show tonight was Chris Emmett. Chris is a veteran of Pantomimes here at Brick Lane, having played Dame and written several of them. Chris of course is veteran of Roy Hudd’s Radio Huddlines, and a “The Burkiss Way”. His appearances on the quiz show “321” with the legend that was Ted Rogers with, or without “Dusty Bin” were great to watch. One of the last of those Sketch type shows on television too.

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Westcliff Theatre, Clacton.

Quite a few of the company had friends or families in to see our final show.Andrew (Robley) had a party in tonight along with his guest Francis Golightly. Francis for many years presented the successful Summer Seasons at the Westcliff Theatre, Clacton. From the early 1970’s he produced seasons called “Holiday Startime”, “Showtime” and the very popular “Cascade Reviews” with Andrew appearing each season alongside guest artists. These included over the years Don Maclean, Jimmy Cricket, Bernie Clifton, Norman Collier, Kenny Cantor, Dottie Wayne, Gordon & Bunny Jay and early appearances of Gary Wilmot and Ruthie Henshall.

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Tonight  Andrew Ryan (seeing the show for the second time!) joined the Qdos Family here, on a trip out East- Michael Harrison, in charge of the Pantomimes presented by Qdos, along with Jake Hine from the Qdos Covent Garden Office, and producer Neil Lambert.

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Kathryn, direct from The Chocolate Factory!      Neil, Andrew & Jake.       Kathryn & Michael.

A lovely surprise at the end of the show  when we were joined by Kathryn Rooney. She literally jumped in a cab from her show at the Menier Chocolate factory and headed here for a drink and a chat before heading back East again! Kathryn opened this afternoon in Ray Cooney’s farce “Two Into One” which runs until April 26th. The cast includes my mates Brian Godfrey,  Jean Fergusson, Nick Wilton, Jeffrey Holland, Ray Himself and  also stars Michael Praed and Josefina Gabrielle. I’ll be along to see it in the next two weeks.I love a Cooney Farce!

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So, with an audience in the auditorium, a gorgeous meal served, we set off to do the very last show. It was great fun. A lot of fun has been had over these past thirty odd shows. At one point tonight Paul unexpectedly discovered his furry octopus prop was exchanged in the dark for a real fish. A large wet fish. Apparently it has been lurking in the fridge for the past two days waiting for its cue!

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Vincent was on fine form, and the Trip Advisor five star ratings from our visitors has pushed Brick Lane up to Number One in the London attractions. We’re currently one above Les Mis! Hoorah for Brick   Lane and the way it looks after its guests.

I might be in for a bit of family ribbing on the Les Mis front, as my cousin Anthony Lynn is, at this very minute assisting with the revival of Les Miserable  on Broadway! My Brother Vivyan is off to New York next week for the Grand Opening Night after the previews have finished! He’ll have to leave five stars on Trip Advisor won’t he?!

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So, after all these weeks the curtain has finally fallen on the panto season. We’ve had a lot of laughs here in Silvertown over the past seven weeks. The scenery will be replaced on Monday by vistas of the rolling Irish Hills, and the sound of an Irish Jig will be heard in place of Betty’s tribute to “Docklands Market”!

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Thanks Vincent for the invitation to join this amazing company, and to experience my first “Panto For Grown Ups” as a performer! I’ll see you in a week’s time, but as a guest to watch the Irish Party Show from out front! It’s been a pleasure and a joy!

Postscript: Monday 10th March 2014

 I called in to collect my costumes and wigs today, and  there everyone was, learning the lyrics of a medley of Irish Songs in the green room, led by David on the piano- Saskia, Anna and Vincent and Paul joined by Joni Talks and a full and extremely tuneful company rehearsing the St Patrick’s Day Irish show!

Got to have lunch on the long table like we did in rehearsals, joined by Zara, Martin, Natalie, Michael, Gary, Annie and Stevie (in to do wigs) and the lovely Hayley Simmons who will be choreographing the show.

It runs through to the 27th March, then the St   George’s Day Shows begin, with Music Hall shows in between up until the 16th May, when the Divas Show, followed by The Sixties Show continues to June 18th.

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Like the “Windmill”, Brick Lane Never Closes!

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