Sunday, 13 December 2015

Panto Baddie Gag

They're hissing me down in the stalls!
They're hissing me up in the circle!
Even the band is hissing me in the pit!
I can remember when they didn't have a pit to hiss in.

I've only been a Panto villain once and that was in Bill Oddie and Laura Beaumont's Mother Goose at the Shaw Theatre in London 1991-2
The cast included David Yip as Mother Goose, Nobby the Sheep as Narrator, Julie Dawn Cole (my wife at the time) as a very feisty Jill, and Rob Harley (who I was with in Fast Forward and The Satellite Show on TV) as a somewhat Prince Charlesy Prince.
It was really more of a Christmas show with music rather than a traditional pantomime, although it included a lot of the same elements.
I played Mr Tasty, who ran a multi-national Fast Food company, and who was trying to turn all the animals on Mother Goose's farm into Nuggets and burgers.

The hissing in the pit joke is one of my favourite Panto Baddie gags (although I've never seen it done); it was told to me by Terry Duggan (Anna Karen's husband) when I was doing Dick Whittington with her in Rhyl.
He was a lovely man and was staying with us in the hotel; we had lots of chats over breakfast and he was full of wonderful theatrical stories, gags and routines.
He used to do the gag when he played Panto villain (I hope I've done it justice).

It's wonderful when your job gives you the opportunity to meet and work with such interesting people with hear their stories.

At the time Terry was in a wheelchair and a lot of pain (he was in Rhyl with Anna so she could look after him), but he still had his wonderful sense of humour and I'm so glad to have met him.

Sadly, Terry died in May the following year.

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