We were lucky enough to attend last nights Gala performance of the Nottingham Playhouses production of Jack and the Beanstalk.
Well what a night! It started off with eager anticipation, as the crowds gathered, to not only watch the panto, but celebrate and support The Nottingham Playhouse, on this very special evening.
Bars, dedicated to each of the decades that the playhouse has been open were a highlight, as we mingled with all of the other Pantomime goers.
We couldn’t wait to watch the Panto. We eagerly anticipated the send off, that Kenneth Alan Taylor was going to have, after his 30 year reign as king of the Panto, at the Nottingham Playhouse. Jack and The Beanstalk (incidentally the same pantomime with which he began) has been written and directed by him, as well staring him as Dame Daisy – Jacks Mum.
But first though, we watched Ann Davis from East Midlands BBC news interviewing Stephanie Sirr, Chief Executive of The Playhouse about the challenging time ahead of Nottingham Playhouse. Goverment funding has been withdrawn from the theatre, which they are currently appealing. The Playhouse, does amazing things for our community, and it is a real shame about this issue with funding. If you would like to donate and offer support you can do so HERE.
One such campaign is the 50/50 campaign :
Throughout the year we will be fundraising to safeguard the future of home-grown theatre at the Playhouse, to make the Playhouse more sustainable and to enable us to provide ever more people – of all ages and backgrounds – with access to the joy of live theatre.
Through our 50:50 appeal we are raising money to provide 50 free tickets at each of 50 performances throughout the year. These special tickets will be donated to specially selected people whose social and economic circumstances mean that a trip to the theatre is not ordinarily possible.
We then took our seats to watch the gala performance. Well I must say all the cast shone, like the glitter that dazzled on the sets. It felt so amazing that some of the back drops, and even the costumes we saw when we visited back stage in the summer. Tall Dad, even tried on one of Kenneth’s dame hats on that day, its a photograph really worth seeing ;). It was such a relaxed evening of entertainment, I can’t remember the last time, I felt so much like I was watching friends. They were joined on stage by special guests during the show, Nathan Dowling – who had us all up on our feet singing and dancing. Also a truly amazing Tina Tuner impression by Jeffrey Longmore, it was both good and Oh so funny all at the same time. There was even a very special guest up on stage at the end, the acclaimed writer William Ivory. I loved watching my daughters (and Tall Dads) faces as they laughed their socks off at the on stage jokes,slap stick and ad libbing.
The evening was finalised, with some wonderful messages from Giles Croft the Artistic Director and Stephanie Sirr the Chief Executive as they took to the stage to cut the huge cake. They had, had many congratulatory messages from other actors and personalities such as Dame Judy Dench. To cap it all off Kenneth Alan Taylor took to the stage again to be auctioneer, giving everyone in the audience the opportunity to bid on several fabulous pantomime lots in a charity auction. What a night!
Here is to the next 50 years!