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Sat-Sun 5th & 6th January 2019

January 6, 2019


The Rat Pack!

Saturday and Sunday blurred into one- or rather four shows. A real case for me of leave Hotel room, enter Dressing room, do shows- sleep- do shows, and return to Hotel Room! Best thing when you are on lemsip and have a poorly swollen thumb!


You can strain your thumb taking your bloomers off apparently! I certainly did when the “Full Monty” style rip apart garments decided not to, and to remain very firmly stuck together despite many very strenuous attempts!  Normally they are American Bloomers- “One Yank And They’re Off!” Not on Sat Mat they weren’t.

I ended up with two layers un- stripped and a sprained thumb. Have you had an accident at work? Well, yes- I was yanking my bloomers off when…….


Both shows Saturday were great, and a lovely standing ovation at the end. Nice full houses. Sunday second show was not as full because tomorrow the schools go back, and it is effectively a “school Night”. A great house though, and fun to play to.

Between showsand in the interval the company chill (yes, I know these street words…) in their dressing rooms. Here are just a few examples.

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Spin, John, Ryan and Andy backstage

Daisy has a very large jigsaw to complete- this is her second. Its Disney Princess themed!


The backstage area is very minimalist at TRP- it has a similarity to The National Theatre, and has exposed walls, ceilings and pipework. The corridors are long and functional, livened up by literally hundreds of photos of previous productions.

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Here’s the magnificent Les Dawson in “Dick Whittington” at the end of a corridor.


Les as Sarah The Cook


photos by Steve Tanner

Over Saturday and Sunday many Pantomimes around the country are finishing.Southampton with Andrew Ryan as Sarah The Cook on Sunday, and Liverpool with my mate John Evans has now ended its run. When I return in a week’s time there will still be a chance to see the Kenneth More’s “Aladdin” at Ilford- and finally see the results of all the work I put in during the Summer- a lot of costumes!

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Here’s our John Lumsden as Dick Whittington, alongside Clarice Mayne in the same role in the Edwardian Era.

Traditions hold and they can be tweaked. The traditional Dame Name for Dick Whittington is Sarah The Cook. But not always. I am Felicity Fitzwarren in this production. In the past ” she has been “Cecily Suet”- over the course of time she has been” Daphne Dumpling” (for Julian Wylie & the Palladium), Martha the Cook (1920’s,1930’s & for Tom Arnold) and Eliza The Cook at Drury Lane 1895 played by Herbert Campbell. Constantly updating itself- thats why Panto survives!

I’m surviving on lemsip for now- and a whole day off to recharge! See you on Tuesday!


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