December 18th

The good mood generated by two pantos in three days has been dissipated by the sound of chainsaws in the garden and two glorious and healthy trees are felled due to interfering neighbours scaremongering. If a tree is vertical and was lush with leaves this last summer, and it’s sawn trunks revealing no tell tale disease that I think it is a crying shame, and yes I have been mightily upset. To think what those trees have witnessed and now gone for little more than cosmetic needs.

But two pantos, one professional and one at the Garrick do bring so much joy – the sheer fact that we accept such silliness without questioning what we are watching. the sound of 1600 kids yesterday screaming out to Snow White not to take the poisoned apple is something we must never lose. And the magic of a good transformation scene, or the joy of the dame, or the silly billy squirting the audience. I wonder if there’s a film to be made about the essential ingredients – and how bizarre they are. One day I’d love to play dame.  Our Garrick had an excellent flying carpet and the Opera house a good, if rather aged, flying dragon and lots of pyros. But oh a good Dame is priceless, and eric Potts as Dolly crumble was sheer bliss.

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