I was dubious to play Buttons this year after so many years performing as Dame and I took some convincing from Paul Hendy of Evolution Pantomimes. I’m so pleased I listened to him as I had an absolute ball playing Buttons. My fear in stepping out of the frocks was that the audiences of Shrewsbury wouldn’t know who I was. When I play Dame I wear a padded suit, heels, make-up and the obligatory half a dozen or so wig and costume changes, how were they going to take the real me?, 5’8″ in flat shoes, no padding and the merest hint of blusher?
I had a ball, literally. The audiences were as warm as ever and I think the audiences enjoyed seeing the real me for a change, it wasn’t so much of a stretch of the imagination as I said in my opening spot, it’s the ‘same character, less padding’
The company were a joy and I loved every minute of it. Playing Buttons gave me the opportunity to show another side of my panto persona…pathos. Without a doubt my favourite scene was in the kitchen with Cinderella (Victoria McCabe) where I confessed my love for her.
We’ve been closed for almost two weeks now and I still miss the Cinderella team, we had a wonderful cast onstage this year and a great ensemble, the juvenile dancers and chaperones, Simon our Musical Director, James and Ric in the pit, the crew, wardrobe and everyone else that goes into putting on a pantomime. Special thanks yet again to David Jack and Craig Reeves of Theatre Severn for the fantastic support they give each and every year.
Once again I was delighted to be able to collect money after certain shows for Hope House who do fantastic work for children and the families of those children with life limiting illnesses. This is the sixth year we have collected for Hope House and this year between Christmas Eve and New Years Eve the audiences donated a whopping £7,920.58! unbelievable.
Each year the total given gets higher and higher and I can’t thank them enough for their generosity. Hope House tell me that in that past six years the Theatre Severn Panto audiences have donated over £32,000. I’m proud to be able to help them and am overawed by the charity of the people of Shropshire.