It's the morning after the final performance of Dick Whittington. There is a covering of snow on the ground, my throat is sore and there is a feeling of emptiness inside me. My Lord Mayors Tricorn hat with it's feather at half mast sits redundant now a poignant reminder of what has been achieved over the last two days.
|Holcot Village Hall|
|Me and Andy Willson backstage rehearsals|
We happened to be out one night when he told me that it looked as though he would probably have to play two parts in his upcoming pantomime. Quick as a flash I said ' I'll do one'. Quite a bold statement considering i'd never even been in a school play. Bravado some might say, madness others.
|Pre-Panto interview Nene Radio with Andy Cole|
Whatever there was no going back, despite reservations afterwards I felt that I couldn't let Andy down and looked on it as a huge challenge. So I decided to throw myself into it right from the first rehearsal in early November to taking on some marketing. This included a couple of Radio slots including Radio Northampton and Nene Radio with Andy Cole pictured above.
|Yours truly in 'the purple coat'|
|Backstage, wheres my dresser ? Still no blue M&M's!|
|Look we did rehearse! I look in time for once....|
Learning the lines was a different matter and they just wouldn't sink in. It didn't help not knowing who was who and sometimes somebody else would stand in if there was an absence. It took me a month to differentiate between Dick and Dom which i'm sure they found equally frustrating. Having just about got my head around the amount of lines needed for the part of 'Boris Fitzwarren' Alderman or Lord Mayor of London a further surprise was in store. I was expected to take part in a song and dance routine, they don't tell you this when you sign up do they! Now i'm no singer or dancer come to that so how was I going to pull that off?
|Where are we?|
I never quite made it so decided that as my character was loosely based on 'Boris Johnson' I would 'bumble' around deliberately getting it wrong. I did have a big finish however! This involved sliding on my knees to the front of the stage complete with 'big jazz hands' singing 'The Candy Man Can' at the top of my voice no holding back. I just about got away with it I think?
|And now the timing has all gone.|
I have to say I rather like my outfit. Originally I was only kitted out with the purple Lord Mayors coat so had to search round a bit to accessorize and adapt. This included borrowing the Mayor of Wellingborough's back up chains. In the panto the dreadful King Rat aided and abetted by his 'ratlings' and not forgetting 'Zit and Zog'are forever planning and attempting to steal.
|Zit and Zog plotting ....|
|The Wandering Minstrels|
|King Rat in all her glory|
|Sheikh King Rat|
|In the Sultan of Morocco's Casbah|
|First Mate with Capt Hawkeye|
|Bring on the dancing girls|
|The Sultan is impressed|
|Sybil has a proposition for Boris|
A quick straightening of my feather(that isn't a euphemism by the way)and i'm back on stage again. This time in splendid isolation just me and the audience. I'm all ready to welcome back our intrepid travellers, but where are they? The audience soon let me know that Tin-Tin is back , quickly followed by Sybil and Alice. An emotional re-union soon takes place but all is not what it seems... Alice and Sybil have somehow swapped roles and it's all very confusing for poor Boris.
|Sybil you seem somewhat different ?|
|Here comes the bride|
Things get a whole lot more confusing when Sybil asks Boris to marry him! But they are not alone the hero 'Dick' gets his Alice and 'Dopey Dom' gets married to 'Sultry Sultana' so happy endings all
|Our hero gets his Alice|
|Thank you all for coming|
|See you all next year!|