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End of Panto! Saturday 7th March

March 10, 2015


We started rehearsing a few days after I finished “Aladdin” in Hull, and now almost two months later, we’re at the last “Babes In The Wood” here at The Brick Lane Music Hall. The time has flown, and we’ve had a fun time, and many, many cakes and sandwiches!


The last show heralded the visit of Premier Dame and Comic Bryan Burdon with his wife Andi to see the show, and they enjoyed it from a table shared with Andrew Ryan. Andrew very kindly assisted with the get-out at the end of the evening, and at about 11.45pm we were putting the last of the costumes into the back of the car, having said goodbye to a lot of mates here in Silvertown.


Bryan visiting backstage during the interval of the final “Babes In The Wood”.

For a lot of them, the show goes on, as they start rehearsing The Irish Show this coming week, and continue with Music Hall teas and lunches beforehand. Like the Windmill, Brick Lane Music Hall rarely closes! From the stage Vincent announced next year’s BLMH Pantomime- it’s “Jack And The Beanstalk”, when the fun will begin all over again!


Great audiences this week, and although the nights are getting darker later, it might just be time for the Christmas tree and snow scenes to be put away finally- daffodils blooming on the roundabout opposite and Easter is around the corner! However, as a kid my Pantomime experiences at Swansea were very similar. The pantomimes there, directed by John Chilvers and often starring Freddie Lees- to me the BEST Dame I have had the pleasure of watching- would run until March 19th! The fabulous Ryan Davies (of Ryan & Ronnie Fame) did two in the ‘Seventies that ran until that week!


This unique building here in London’s Silvertown has hosted quite a few panto parties and coaches this season, presided over by Vincent Hayes. Last year Vincent started the run of “Dick Whittington” in Hospital, and joined us once the panto was up and running. This year he is a powerhouse of energy,  long may he reign King of Brick Lane!


At the end of the show on Saturday Vincent did a speech, and the entire cast were presented with bouquets- here’s mine in full glorious bloom!



For now, the costumes are packed, and will be heading off to the cleaners. The wigs will be put with the other twenty odd creations of Kevin & Gerry ready for a respray before heading off to my panto in…….Oh! Not sure that it has been announced yet, so for now lets just say its somewhere I am very fond of indeed to goodness yes!


to Vincent and to Zara, thank you so much for having me back here at BLMH this season, and to everyone involved thanks for making it so much fun. Thank you Paul, Andrew and Rusty. Thanks to  Alan, Hayley-Jo, Laura, Catherine, Lottie and Eleanor, and thanks to Kate and Andy, to Anthony, Martin, Saleem and Joanne and everyone responsible for this delightful show!


Dame Vera’s Blog has ended hope you’ve enjoyed the read- but for now, watch this space!

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One Comment
  1. Dear Nigel, this seems to be your most recent entry. Please let me know if you’re still blogging elsewhere. I represent Streatham Theatre Company and as you live in Streatham, it would be great to get in touch.

    Best regards, Liz Burton

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