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Allo Allo-More Visitors!

March 3, 2017

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Here we all are again! (Not my words, but as spoken by Joseph Grimaldi, the original King Of Pantomime!) its visitor day!

We were joined today by Johnny Manns and Becky, and Vicki Michelle and husband Graham Fowler. I was delighted to see a party from the Kenneth More Theatre, organised by Alan Hardy that included Margaret Brice.

Margaret came to the Kenneth More from Berman and Nathans the costumiers, where she had worked on film and stage costumes, including creating costumes for the Cecil Beaton “My Fair Lady”, “Flower Drum Song” “World of Suzi Wong” and major movies. She has created gowns for both Joan and Jackie Collins and that was before joining me at the KMT!

Over the years Margaret and I worked on about thirty pantomimes, as well as National and International tours of “The Rocky Horror Show” in the UK, Israel, Europe and finally at the Casino Paris. She created all my Ugly Sister costumes over twenty eight years. What a huge talent! I’m so proud Im wearing a couple of her costumes today in this show!

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Johnny, Becky and Vicki backstage with Andrew’s friends Clare Langan and Peter Costello.

Vicki Michelle MBE is, of course famed for playing Yvette Carte-Blanche in BBC’s “Allo Allo” in all nine series from 1982 onwards. Recently she has created the role of Patricia Foster in Emmerdale, and of course went Down Under in 2014 with “Im A Celebrity- Get me out of here!”

A panto fanatic and a very evil Queen and a very Good Fairy, Vicki has just finished panto at the King’s Southsea with the Chase’s Anne Heggerty. I’ve appeared in a few gorgeous panto events with Vicki, and always remember her kind support when I launched my solo Dame eight or so years ago.Vicki has appeared in countless stage shows and pantomimes, a lot of farces in the West End and Australia, and- I love a connection. Lots of us are connected in this small business we work in. My friend Angela Ryder came to see the show last week. (21st Feb “A Right Royal Do”) Angela was in a musical called “Play It Again Sam” in the West End. A young actress called Vicki Michelle joined her to play opposite Dudley Moore! Hows that for a Brick Lane connection!

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Gorden Kaye & Vicki Michelle

Johnny Manns is the Managing Editor of “Encore” magazine – a great theatrical magazine, as well as running a talent agency, and being a promoter and publisher. Like Vicki he is kept busy with a lot of charitable work. A member of the Grand Order of Water Rats, he learned his trade working alongside the legendary agent Billy Marsh. Lovely to see him and Becky again this year.

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Waiting in the dressing room for The School Room Scene

The show went really well this afternoon- it was a Tea show. Only three more left now- tomorrow and the two shows on Saturday, then Schlepping Beauty Schleps off and the Irish Show goes into rehearsal. Like The Windmill Theatre Brick Lane never closes!

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Daisy Martin- Martin Layzell’s Grandmother

Talent often runs in families. Our keyboard player (and sometimes percussionist) Martin Layzell and his Dad Tony played in the orchestra pit of my panto at Wimbledon years ago. Martin’s Grandmother, Daisy was an original John Tiller Girl! Circa 1910 onwards, she was also part of a troupe called “Daisy Martin and The Three Sherees”. Her is a picture Martin brought in today- doesn’t she look wonderful in one of her stage costumes. What a fabulous piece of theatrical history!

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Arise Sir Ken!

Here’s another glorious piece of Theatrical History. Finally- at age 89 Ken Dodd jas been created Sir Kenneth Dodd. He and the world of variety are indeed Tickled! Congratulations Sir Doddy!

 

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