I dashed up to Birmingham on Thursday (26th January) to catch up with panto mates at the wrap party for the Hippodrome’s Qdos panto”Dick Whittington”.
It’s a fantastic show, loads of comedy, spectacle and great effects from The Twins as you’d expect in this premier venue!
Andrew Ryan & Nigel Ellacott
Lovely to meet up with panto mates- some of us go back quite a long way!. Above there’s me with Andrew Ryan (mid shipwoman Mid Show) and his lovely wardrobe lady Nicky Evans, and Janette (Krankie) Tough and Allan Stewart. I did “Cinderella” with Allan for the Millennium at Edinburgh Kings. A Magical New Year that was!
Nigel & Andrew
The party was a gathering of the great and good from Qdos and from the ATG (Ambassadors Theatre Group) who come together this season to present over thirty pantomimes- Great to see Nickand Sandra Thomas, Michael Harrison, Jonathan Kiley and Mark Sherwood in the Qdos Lounge after the show.
It was a busy day. I did my show in East London and had my after show shower in Birmingham! Funny old job this! Got to the Hippodrome well after curtain up, but I’ve seen the joyous show three times. Joined Andrew Ryan and my panto mates in the Qdos Lounge after the panto, and we jollied and chatted and eat and drank until 2.30am. Nice to see fellow Dames Chris Hayward (just finished his long Newcastle season as Fairy Godmother) along with panto Dame David Robbins (Southend) and Dame and Author Alan McHugh.
Stuart Griffiths (now in charge of programming for ATG) was there along with Tony Priestley. Tony has been looking after the costumes here at the Hippo for the season. He and I were involved in the Wilton’s Music Hall panto with Roy and Debbie Hudd earlier this Winter.
Lovely to see Val and Theresa Nalton (Theresa is the Qdos wardrobe head, as was her Mother Val before her) )and Qdos marketing chiefs Adrian LeSurf and Mark Jones. Gary and Yvonne Hind were there-Gary created some amazing music for the Palladium Pantomime this year, along with several other venues.
Andrew with his award.
The cast of the Hippodrome attended their special in panto awards ceremony- hosted by Kage Douglas (he plays Sultan Vinegar) and Company Manager Lucy Westnidge. Speeches by John Barrowman and awards going to Andrew Ryan, Matt Slack, Roanne Bray, Steve McFadden and Janette Krankie- collecting her “blooper”award!
Andrew & Janette
It was a night when many of us remembered our dear friend and fellow Dame Brian Godfrey. Brian died just a year ago. He would have loved tonight’s Qdos celebration in Birmingham. Here are a few pictures of the man himself. So sadly and dearly missed.