This page has details from years 1993-1996. I did not make my first appearance until 1996 in Dick Whittington (Oh, OK then, I admit it, I was the one in the seven foot goose costume in Mother Goose!) Although I had no involvement in the bottom two, I have seen both photographic and video evidence.
Dick Whittington and Sam the Cat
This is a pantomime based on a famous Mayor of London, one Dick Whittington who, as the story goes, got as far as a milepost at Highgate before he 'turned' back to London to fulfil his destiny.
By far the person with the easiest role this year was Judith who, although she was integral to the whole story, had no lines to learn. All she had to do was look cat-like and meow occasionally. She and Sue made a wonderful team.
I, for my sins, played King Rat although not the same King Rat sung about in the 1973 Queen album, I hasten to add. On reflection, I'm quite amazed that I managed to perform three nights without using either of the immortal phrases 'Ten miles from London and no sign of Dick' or 'Hello, may I stroke your pussy?'
Of note this year was, again, the song and dance number to open act two. A spirited rendition of 'The Fleet's In' which, if memory serves me well, had two encores on the last night.
Mother Goose is the the pantomime of the story of the goose that laid the golden egg.
Well, I guess that it's time to come clean. I was the goose. I will always remember the moment when Hilary said that there was still one part outstanding and everybody then looked at me. What made this slightly more worrying was that this was the first time I had gone to a drama group meeting and I knew nobody (which in itself is quite daunting.)
Heigh ho. Aside from being unbelievably hot inside the costume, I was on stage for far too many songs including the audience participation one, which is never a good thing. Still, as you can see from the photos, I was able to come on for the walk down Rod Hull and Emu style and deliver a natty little poem.
This year marked the departure of the group's usual villain. Ian will always be remembered for his talent to play the villain as the comedy lead. For example making his first entrance carrying a pint of beer and apologising in advance for not knowing his lines.
Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Based on the famous tales of the Arabian Nights, this is the story of a poor barber's attempts to thwart his evil brother
Now, what can I say about this show? It had a very good villain along with his two stupid assistants, two outrageous dames playing dancers, a good principal boy and girl combination and a fabulous sand dance. All in all, one of my favourites.
I suppose that the fact that I wasn't in it probably colours my opinion. To be honest, after three months of rehearsals, I am usually so sick of the whole proceedings that I am often heard to mutter the words 'never again.' Still, I remember saying it after Mother Goose and here I am, five years and four shows later already planning my costume for our 2000 production of 'Cinders, The Real Story.'
Those of you with keen eyesight might just have noticed a slight similarity between the pink costume that Sue wore this year and the one that she wore in Dick Whittington. This is quite normal.
Frankenstein The Panto
Speak to anyone from the group who have been involved for a while and most will say that this was one of the shows that they remember with fondness, as opposed to trying to instantly forget. On the face of it, Frankenstein is not the sort of story that a pantomime can be made out of, however David Swan, the author managed.
In this version Frankie is the hero and the villains are the evil Granula and her rather drippy son Dracula. Martin and Ian played these roles and seemed to have enjoyed themselves, particularly on the final night when the 'Bloody Marys' were real. All this in front of the poor disembodied head of Alison playing Heidi, the heroine.
Equally scary was the first entrance of the Delightful "Schoolgirls" pictured. With flailing hockey sticks in full voice, it was quite imposing. I know you'd never believe it, but one of the schoolgirls in the picture is a man in drag. Can you guess which one?