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Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Pantomime season is here

As Christmas draws nearer I'd like to tell you about my 'thespian days', which
began at The Pillar Club, held in a grand old house in West Derby Village, called Lowlands.
It played host to many talents, including The Beatles and other well known Liverpool Groups of the 'Sixties'.
Local young people gathered there during the week to play table tennis, drink coffee and generally 'hang out', doing things that teenagers do!
From these activities a drama group was formed, which was to become The Basement Players.

Each year a seasonal Pantomine was produced.

This was my first experience of 'treading the boards' and..... 'oh boy', what fun we had!

Along with my best friend Jenny, we were plucked from obscurity and put in the chorus line.

Oooh....... The smell of the grease paint and the roar of the crowd...
*A star was born*......

I was well and truly hooked and just loved strutting my stuff in front of a live audience.
Flushed with our first success, Jenny and I were picked for the next production, playing the leading roles of Principal Boy and Principal Girl.
My role was as Jack in 'Jack And The Beanstalk' and Jenny played a village girl who was the leading lady.

For my friends from overseas, who may not be acquainted with the traditions of British Pantomime, traditionally, some male and female roles are reversed, thus, the roles of Principal Boy is played by a female and the Dame is played by a male.
Strange, I know, but after all.....

It is a British tradition!!!

In the Pantomime 'Jack and the Beanstalk', we had a cow called Daisy, she was made by a costume maker called Elsie, who made all our costumes, she was absolutely brilliant at her work and turned out the most amazing outfits at the turn of a needle.

Daisy the cow was made in two pieces and was manned by two guys called Tom and Dave, Tom as the front legs and head and Dave as the back end.

Now then, Dave was rather too fond of a drink or three, and on the last night of the Panto he called at the local Inn for a drop of refreshment!

After he had donned the rear end part of Daisy's costume, he weaved all over the stage, in a state of inebriation, trying to dance in step with Tom at the front end.
To say he was legless was an understatement!

Eventually he found his feet and managed to dance in time until, at the very end of the routine, he stepped backwards over the footlights and ended up dangling over the drummer, directly below in the auditorium......

The audience went wild with applause and laughter, thinking it was part of the act, as he was unceremoniously hauled back on stage by Tom (the front end), who was absolutely furious with him.
Dave, inspired by the rapturous applause, attempted to repeat the performance, only to be tharwted by Tom, who gave him a sharp kick in the shins, sending him howling to the floor and ending up in a 'heap of Cow' on the hapless drummer below.
Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured and the Panto carried on.

I've heard the Nursery rhyme about the cow jumping over the moon but not jumping over a drummer!

Merry Christmas everyone and all good wishes for a prosperous and peaceful New Year.

Di.x

26 comments:

  1. Hiya Trubes!

    I really don't know how I've missed this - my apologies, but what a great yarn!

    We only started going to panto when both Daughts were tots, and loved every minute of them.

    The one diversion we ever did was go and see Dudley Moore in 'Santa Claus the movie', but it wasn't the same...

    Elder Daught actually caught a packet of crisps in the ritual chucking stuff into the crowd in T. Wells!

    Have a great Christmas!

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  2. Hi Scrobs,
    I only posted my tale yesterday but started to write it at the beginning of Dec....due to the busy season, I hadn't the time to go online.
    Glad you liked the yarn!
    Merry Christmas to all at Scrobs Turrets and all good wishes for a prosperous New Year.x

    Di.xx

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  3. Awesome story!

    Merry Christmas to you and the rest of the family.

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  4. LOL I bet that was a scream to see live but thank goodness no one was hurt.

    I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas time xxx

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  5. Fabulous!
    A very Merry Christmas to you and yours from the Napa Valley!

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  6. We went to a fabulous panto last night - it was terrific! Happy Crhstimas to you too Di. x

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  7. Merry Xmas Di...hope to be able to meet you next fall when we're on our honeymoon. That's IF we decide to hop up to England after Italy.

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  8. Hi Blue,
    Thanks for your kind comments, Merry Christmas,

    Di.x

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  9. Hello Cherie,
    Yes it was hillarious, we all howled with laughter on stage too.

    Merry Christmas,

    Di.x

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  10. Hi Vino Girl, Only in Liverpool could we have a drunken Pantomine Cow...The same guy went on to be a pillar of society and has a very eminent career in medicine!
    I believe he no longer drinks! Shame really...
    He was so funny when he'd had a few too many!

    Merry Christmas,

    Di.x



    Di.x

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  11. Hi FP,
    I'm looking forward to going to a local panto too, glad you enjoyed yours...

    Di.x

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  12. Hello Leslie,
    Good to hear from you and would very much like to meet you if you can get over to the UK,

    Merry Christmas to you and Lorne, from all of us at Chez Trubes,

    Di.xx

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  13. Cow not jumping over a drummer ?

    Never heard of Keith Moon ???

    Happy Christmas, sweety !

    xx

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  14. What fun, disasters are what pantomimes are all about. From chorus to lead, a star is born.
    Have a wonderful Christmas.

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  15. Hello Kevin,
    Good to hear from you, very funny the Keith Moon analogy, made I larf.
    Although, our drummer was called Sooty...I never did know his real name...Well there's another piece of useless information!
    Have a wonderful Christmas,
    Di.xx

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  16. Hello Joy, Good to hear from you.
    'A Star is born'
    Although, I never quite made it to the dizzying heights of Elaine Paige!
    Hope you're coping with the adverse weather conditions, we've had a thick snowfall overnight, very seasonal!

    Merry Christmas,

    Di.x

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  17. Trubes ,with the help of that rare creature...Liverpool snow...I'd like to wish a heartfelt Merry Christmas to you and yours fom all OTW.

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  18. Thud; Thanks for your kind festive wishes, I hope you all have a wonderful time too....
    Still got snow too...Yipee..

    Di.xx

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  19. Merry Christmas Trubes!

    And thanks for all your support in 2009.

    Roll on 2010 and Freedom!

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  20. Hello Mr Lakes,
    Thank you for your kind wishes.
    Roll on 2010....indeed.

    Di.x

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  21. What a lovely tale, Trubes. YOu did make me laugh. Love the label too! Hsppy New Year to all of you from Simi and me and a special kissie from Simi for Chloe. xxxx woof!

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  22. Hello Welshcakes, lovely to hear from you, glad I made you laugh.
    We had such fun in the Pantomime days, cherished memories indeed!
    Hapy New year to you and Simi,
    love from us all at Chez Trubes, and of course, Chloe Cat.xx

    Di.xx

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  23. No panto this year :-(

    Hope you had a lovely Xmas, Trubes and you and yours had a joyous time. Best wishes for a splendid 2010 xxx

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  24. Hello Pippy,
    Good to hear from you, thank you for your kind wishes.
    Sorry you didn't get to see a Panto, this time, so I hope a trip to mine lifted your spirits.
    We had a lovely Christmas with two of our Daughters, Sons in law and darling grandchildren, Olivia and Christian. Eldest Daughter and family went off to Paris Disneyworld, we did miss them, but they too, had a lovely time.
    I hope you and your children had a good time...Happy New Year.

    Di.xx

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  25. What a great story! Are you planning on treading the boards again? We'd have to have a bloggers' outing to see you!

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  26. Hi Liz,
    That would be fine 40 odd years ago but like any pedigree Pantomime Cow I am now in retirement...

    Di.x

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I always try to reply to each comment on an individual basis so please pop back, when you have time, as there may be more to learn from either side, i.e. myself and commenter Thank you, Di x

Shaky and Silver Linings.