1994 Dick Whittington

In only her second year, Kathy Allan is elevated to the star part of Dick’s cat, Tom. Elevated is perhaps the wrong word, as she had to scamper about on hands on knees most of the time. Worse still, during the shipwreck scene, she had to stumble around on the deck of the ship in a stormy sea, whilst the gleeful backstage chaps threw buckets of water over her. Then, while she drip-dried in the cold dressing room, Kath Ivermee the costume designer had to pick splinters out of her knees with tweezers. Health and Safety?  What’s that!

In one show, Kathy had forgotten to go on stage and was happily chatting away downstairs whilst Mr Whittington was ad-libbing like crazy, having lost her cat! Sue Wasden as Dick had all the audience looking under their seats whilst Tom Cat was drinking a nice warm cup of tea, oblivious to the panic!

One of the chorus songs was “Arrival of the Guests” from “White Horse Inn”

“We maids can all be trusted, To keep the rooms well dusted
We change and air the bedding, We keep the moth from spreading
Heigh ho! Life is hard, you know
For a Chambermaid is always on the go”

Another was “Lambeth Walk”

Sound is mentioned for the first time as a job, assigned to Andy Granger. Also mentioned is the Clavinova electronic keyboard, which is still on stage, and is still used for Variety shows.

Gill Travis appears for the first time this year, joining Mick and Becki. They will all leave at the same time though, after the 2007 show.

Mick Travis had apparently been cast as Idle jack. However one snowy night, he and Roy and their families had been out, celebrating something. Drink, shall we say, had been taken. Back home, it was decided that Mick needed help to remove some layers of clothes. As his socks were being violently pulled off, he was catapulted backwards (pirouette was the word used) and hit his ribs against the table, cracking a couple of them. When this was eventually realised, through the fog of alcohol, he was taken to casualty to be strapped up. It meant though that Idle Jack’s antics were too much for him, so he was re-cast as the more sedate Alderman Fitzwarren, and Roy became Idle Jack.

Ken remembers having to chase Katie Ivermee (as Alice) off stage. He then had to run downstairs and around to reappear at the other side of the stage, and chase someone else off. However, that someone else was missing, so Katie ran with him, to reappear again, and to be chased off stage again.

Stepping up from assistant producer, Joan Ritchie is co-producer, with Ross Crowe.