Thursday 28th January 2016.
Tonight the Birmingham Hippodrome celebrated the party that heralds the close of the Qdos Pantomime “Aladdin”. The Panto run ends on Sunday night, when over 100,000 people will have enjoyed the run that starred Marti Pellow, Julian Clary, Lee Mead, Matt Slack and Andrew Ryan.
Tradition has it at Qdos HQ that a party is held at “The Hippo” and panto folk can see the show and enjoy a party as the last panto standing closes. Here is the full list of all those other Qdos Pantomimes in 2015-16
I had the good fortune to watch “Aladdin” three times, and to celebrate a fantastic run. My own “panto for grown-ups” at Brick Lane Music Hall finished at 5.pm, and I dashed from there, shedding glitter to Euston and the brand new Birmingham Grand Central station in time for the second half!
Yvonne & Gary Hind with Marti Pellow
Julian Clary & Lee Mead. David Robbins & Martin Ramsdin with Chris Hayward
Teresa Nalton, Tony Priestley & Kathryn Rooney
Nigel with Allan Stewart, Kathryn & Martin
The party included the “Aladdin” awards, organised by Martin Hinkins and guest presenters including Nick Thomas, Billy Pearce and a speech by “Aladdin” producer & Director Michael Harrison- not so much Red Carpet as Magic Carpet!
Nick Thomas, Michael Harrison. Jonathan Kiley
Nigel Ellacott & Widow Twankey, Andrew Ryan
The fabulous- or “Fan” Tastic Aladdin Wardrobe Company, headed by Tony Priestley!
Lovely to see Qdos head of wardrobe Teresa Nalton, and Sharon Kiel along with Beth Eden, Ian Wilson, Lesley Downey and Adrian Lesurf during the evening.
The first person I met upon arrival was Producer David Ian. At one point in that room we had a good compliment of the “Rocky Horror Show” tour that my brother Vivyan Ellacott directed in the ’80’s- we had Jonathan Kiley who played Frank N Furter, David Ian who was Rocky and Andrew Ryan who played Brad Majors- and myself- I costumed the tour in the UK and abroad. We could do it all over again!
Andrew Ryan had a VIP visitor to the show. David Hartshorne brought the fabulous Jean Bayless to see the show. She was looked after by Company Manager Anthony Bishop, and given a tour backstage.
Jean Bayless & Andrew Ryan
Jean was the original Maria in “The Sound Of Music” in the West End, and took over from Julie Andrews in “The Boyfriend” on Broadway. She starred alongside her friend Audrey Hepburn in two West End shows and is a veteran of two London Palladium Pantomimes- oh, and of course “Crossroads” on television! She lives in Birmingham.
The Birmingham Hippodrome Company
In the words of the song- “What a swell party that was!” Thank you Qdos and Thank you the Birmingham Hippodrome. Next year’s pantomime will be “Dick Whittington!”