20 years ago I took part in my first Centre Stage pantomime. It is a moment that has shaped my life forever, creating friendships and experiences that are hugely special to me. I have always loved pantomime for the fun and energy that it brings to all involved and I find it so special to see people from all different backgrounds and of all different ages working together. For this show our youngest participant is 3 and the oldest in their 70’s!
As director I was very lucky to have a script written for me by an incredibly talented member of the group, Yasmin, who I have seen grow up and become a hugely valued member of the group – thank you for letting me run with your script! I couldn’t have put this show on without the support, vision, skill and commitment of a huge number of people but I would like to mention a few! Linda, my producer, my rock (and also my mother!!) – thank you so much for everything! Grace for her fabulous musical direction, which this year has been made more challenging by Italian accents and raps! For this show I have been very lucky to have a whole castle built for me – the backstage team led by Brendan have worked incredibly hard to create a castle which was beautifully designed and decorated by Ian and Gill. Paul and Charlie have also worked incredibly hard to create fabulous lighting effects. Kathy and Hazel have once again triumphed on costumes, and Bryan and Stuart have created wonderful leaflets and programme using the brilliant drawings of Alice! On sound I have the amazingly patient Mark (also my husband!) who has supported me not only through creating fabulous sound effects, and sourcing music, but generally keeping me sane and putting up with our house being filled with leaflets, props and people for rehearsals!!
For me Centre Stage is like a family (sometimes a little dysfunctional) we laugh a lot and sometimes we cry, but the love we have for each other is very real, and this is shown when we pull together to achieve a production which is only done through the hard work and dedication of very special people.
This show is not my show, but a testament to the talent, dedication and humour of the members of Centre Stage. I would also like to dedicate it to Graham Wilks one of our members who we lost very unexpectedly at the end of last year.
We hope that you enjoy this show as much as we have enjoyed bringing it to life! Boo, hiss, cheer and clap – enjoy the magic that is a community coming together to put on pantomime!