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Sat 11th December: The Revue

December 13, 2015

Friday was a lovely day off, recovering from a very hectic week of tech, dress stress and opening! Had a wander around the town with Emma and Sarah, and a visit with Robin at his Hotel before we all had early nights.

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Friday morning I disgraced myself on National Radio- BBC Radio Wales in fact by taking part in what was supposed to be a Panto themed quiz. Wires got crossed andit was in fact a general knowledge quiz with Phyl Harries as my opponant. Phyl is Baron in Theatr Clwyd’s “Cinderella”. Questions like “how many DNA Plant data bases would you estimate to be in the National Garden collection …” and “What year was “Dynasty” first Broadcast on Television” (I actually got that one right!) led to total humiliation and I won a BBC Wales Pen apparently. “Crackerjack” lives, older readers of this blog!

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Today we had a 2.15pm and a 7.15pm Both shows went well, and slowly the running order is beginning to gel. Where I was standing in the wings dressed as an ice-cream, as you do of a Saturday, wondering how long I had until I entered, I was now realising I had a bit more time to get ready than I had previously thought.

Great to have a lively audience of adults and kids  in the mix, and to be able to take in some of the show. I’ve been too busy changing in the Quick Change room with Irenre or Gwen to notice what was going on. Lovely to hear Emma get two rounds of applause for the clever bit where she pretends to read a letter from the missing Snow White in a Welsh accent. She even reads out some chunks of Welsh, which is not bad for a Surrey girl!

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Here’s the review from the  Daily Post by Eryl Crump

This classic pantomime tale of the jealous Queen poisoning beautiful Snow White had the youngsters in the theatre screaming with laughter and shock throughout . There are laughs and boos in equal measure in this year’s panto at Venue Cymru.
And with a Strictly Come Dancing star in the cast there’s a generous measure of high class choreography as well as some stunning visual effects in the production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
This classic pantomime tale of the jealous Queen poisoning beautiful Snow White had the youngsters in the theatre screaming with laughter and shock throughout.
And there was plenty for the adults, who appeared to be in the majority on Saturday night, to enjoy too.
Ballroom dance champion Robin Windsor says its a new role for him acting and doing a bit of singing in addition to showing off some fancy footwork first appearing on a wonderful floating magic mirror , But he manages it with aplomb and was a popular character on stage.

However the real stars of this pantomime are Muddles and his “mother” Nanny Myfanwy played by John Evans and Nigel Ellacott respectively.
Appearing in his ninth consecutive Venue Cymru pantomime – and already booked for next year too – John is a stand-up comedian with a quick reply to suit every occasion.

And his routines with pantomime veteran Ellacott, his 41st year in the business, were classic favourites with some slapstick and plenty of audience participation.
The script, when it was followed, included plenty of jokes that referred to the local area.

Snow White (Sarah McNicholas) may have won in the beauty and romantic stakes, capturing American born Prince Connor of Conwy, (Ricky Johnston) but it was the Queen who won the vocal battle.
Emma Francis is devilishly wicked as the evil Queen Sadista Barracked with the traditional boos throughout, her scheming persona is coupled with an excellent singing voice, bringing real class to the show.

The seven dwarfs were played by youngsters from the Colwyn Bay-based Pearl Shaw School of Performing Arts. The school, established more than 40 years ago, also provided the young dancers who joined the six-strong ensemble to give body to the polished dance numbers.
The production, directed by Michael Gyngell, was polished and pacy and the set and backcloths, ranging from the palace grounds to the forbidden forest and the seven dwarfs cottage is one of the best I’ve seen.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is at Venue Cymru until January 31

 Our director Michael was back in to see the shows, and the reaction from the audiences were heart warming. It is a lovely atmosphere here, and I’m delighted to be back!

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After thesecond show we had a drinks reception hosted by General Manager Sarah Ecob in the upstairs bar at venue Cymru, and I was joined by Andrew Ryan en route to Birmingham Hippodrome.

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The Hippo Panto goes into Tech week next week, and will be among the last to open. They run up towards the end of Janary, so I’ll be seeing Andrew, Marti Pellow, Julian Clary and Matt Slack early in the New Year.

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My visitors today included a party from Scotland, down to visit relatives in the area- Stuart McCue-Dick, Robbie and family were in to see the show. Stuart was in my Panto group this year at the NODA Summer School in Warwick, and has just played his first “Sister” at the Johnstone Town Hall! Lovely to see them all!

The Hotel guests from the Can Y Bae made their annual panto visit. Great to see them all in the front rows of the theatre, always a joyful reception! Thanks Michael & Dave organising this!

Sunday 13th December:

A One Show Day at 1pm. This is a rare time to see daylight upon leaving the theatre! The show came down at around 3.10pm! A jolly show, with Marcus Collins visiting, direct from the Adelphi Theatre London where he joins my mate ( and Panto Prince) Sean Needham in “Kinky Boots”.

Show went well, getting slicker every minute, and the “Busy Bee” gag getting wetter every time we do it! I’ve now decided I like my Songsheet costume the best. That and the opening, but the “Strictly” and the Ice Cream have to be level pegging. Today’s dresser was Irene. Fortunately she was not in yesterday when I suddenly realised I hadn’t put my microphone on, just before the first entrance, and Gwen sprinted to  get it from the dressing room while Mac Sound sorted me a speedy replacement. I enteredbang on cue thanks to both their super human efforts. Won’t make THAT mistake again!

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We all went out for a massive Sunday Roast at “The Albert”, about twenty five of us, and it was as lovely as ever. Fresh veg too- yes! A welcome change from sandwiches between shows.020

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We went off to visit the new “Sinatras” bar in town, a cocktail bar created by Chloe, my mate Sherrie Hewson’s neice- had a few Singapore Slings to baptise the place!

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Sinatra’s Cocktails!

Spoke to Sherrie tonight. She had a fabulous opening two shows at Leicester’s De Montford Hall as a very wicked Queen. Delighted she’s having a really great time.

Two shows tomorrow and the rest of the week at 10.30am and 2pm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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