Choreography this year is in the hands of Stephen Ayres. Stephen runs the Foot-Light Dance School and has kindly given up time to help us with the panto. He is choreographing many of the numbers in the show – and those that he isn’t I am choreographing myself (with my limited skill and ability!). It’s good to have someone of Stephen’s talents involved. The two tap dance nunbers he has done are brilliant!
We’re delighted that we’ll have Nigel Taylor and Mike Bullen, along with Ray Chamberlain, on Stage Crew this year – our hard working crew always ensure the sets look just right, and have the unenviable task of keeping out of the way while others are in the limelight, yet doing the hardest work in scene changes!
After a break of must be well over 10 years, Robin Rhind is back to do our special effects! Robin is a great mate and is invaluable as his experience in terms of pyros, dry ice, and electronic effects is immense. He can always work out just how to achieve whatever effect is required. Robin, I’m delighted you’re able to work with us again!
Martin Broadfoot and Colin Prior will be back in charge of Sound for us again – they travel far to do the show (Martin from Cornwall (!) and Colin from Surrey) – and both are very experienced so know exactly how to get the ‘right sound’ for panto. Thanks for doing it again guys!
Andre Garnett is our Lighting Director and he’s already been along to many rehearsals so he can see how the show is working, and get the right feel for the show in terms of lighting. Andrew has also skillfully built our boat, the ‘Saucy Sal’, which this year will be sailing on a sea of dry ice during Act Two – can’t wait!
The fantastic Daniel Dibdin is back as Musical Director and he will be getting his panto band together soon. We don’t see them until the week before the show, but Daniel’s arrangements are always excellent. Daniel is a brilliant MD and we are thrilled to have him work with us again.
We won’t see our Front of House team until show week, but Angie Casey, Jacqui Bailie, Jill Cook, Grinda Willis, Zena Kirk, Steve Keogh, and Sandra and Terry Phillimore will be working hard to ensure the audience are ticketed, seated, programmed (not in that sense!), souvenired (is that a word?!), etc! They, like so many others involved in the panto, work incredibly hard but get none of the applause…… so, thank you all!
I must say a special word for Gill Vymeris, who spends rehearsals sewing, fitting and making costumes – she’s here to chaperone and along with Hilary Whicker notes the Children’s and Middle Chorus’ moves in their master script, but Gill has been a fantastic help with costumes this year. Katie Coxon is also great, she knows the theatre and the area, she’s got us contacts for publicity, helped us with rehearsal space, etc.
And then there’s our brilliant Graphic Designer Steve Rider. Steve has done our posters for 25 years – we are old school pals, and his unbelievable talent for design is shown on our posters and flyers. Steve moved to Boston (USA) a couple of years ago, where he now lives with his lovely wife Karen, but we are delighted that Steve is still happy to do our poster design – it really lifts the whole show to have such a great poster – thanks Steve!
Finally, thank you to all the parents who ferry our Children, Middle Chorus (and some others) to and from rehearsals – we couldn’t do it without you!