Events in 2023
A Lad in a Manger
We performed this nativity pantomime by Michael Forster three times on the 20th and 21st January. It was a clever script which made the Christmas message very clear. However, the Friday night capacity audience came well prepared and were joining in almost before they were asked. As for the ‘He’s behind you’, poor Widow Swanky (Jill Lloyd) could hardly keep the show rolling.
So nativity or no nativity, there were Mary (Liz Bones) and Joe (Pete Bones), Joe with his plank of wood to keep him occupied while Mary had her baby. Widow Swanky, the innkeeper, had a secret sweet factory.Wicked King Herod (Graham Howe) was in an eternal sugar fix and was obsessed by Swanky’s refusal to give him any sweets. The three shepherds were in various stages of mental malfunction, and the three wise people were led by a Groucho Marx lookalike (Peter Selby). Cameo roles were provided by Swanky’s dim daughter (Jackie Brown) and Little-goes-a –long- way Salami (Nicky Whitehouse) who was on her way to see Harry Styles.
There were six excellent children who were junior angels to Lindsey’s angel in chief. They learnt their parts faster than most and seemed to know the words to the songs as well. They were a great addition to the show.
We could not have managed without Andrew Emm. Among many other things he provided a fine set with a stable and city walls (see the cover page) – he also provided the star of the show, Tesla , the e-donkey, with flashing blue lights and warning orange lights which activated when frightened or annoyed.
Nick Lloyd’s Sweetie-pie was another star.It also flashed lights and dispensed a huge number of sweets when everyone danced fast enough to Adam Koch and Paul Parkinson’s percussion..
Jo had been determined to lift the Covid gloom with this pantomime, and the cast responded with enthusiasm and commitment. It clearly did them good.
Tony provided new tunes, as those suggested by the writer were a little out of date, and Camptown Races would have been strange in our new age.
The audiences totalled just short of 300, and £500 was raised for The Night Shelter and the Food Bank.
... and in earlier years