To Dick Whittingdon – An Ode


This show has been, I really must mention

Stress-free to most – was that Sue’s intention?

Rehearsals slick - all organised

And time’s passed by before our eyes,

Before we knew it we were ready

Really so smooth it makes me quite heady.


The performances, so far, have been so slick

Nothing to mention – it makes me feel sick

I’ve been waiting for mishap, for muck-up, for foul

You’ve all done so well it has made me howl!

How can I write a poem like this

Without a target to take the p***!!!

So instead of a poem of mistakes and pranks

This’ll now have to be an ode of thanks!


But first to the newies – our numbers you did swell

Andy, James, Sara and Amanda didn’t they do well!


So let’s turn our eyes to the back stage crew

Surely they will warrant a few

But unfortunately I have only praise

I think we need to give them a raise!(Glasses only at this juncture!)


Let’s start with the prompt, I must thank the man

He gave me a prompt when asked – not in the grand plan.

A thankless job ‘cos if you do help out

The person you’re helping often will shout

“I didn’t need a prompt I would have got there!”

The pregnant pause? “I was acting - not fair!”

“You made me out to be quite the twit!”

And they grind and they moan as they have a big fit!


‘Liz of the moves’ – she tried out her plan

Not having in her mind the Little Waltham clan!

We do find it tricky to keep to a beat

To move our arms, sing and move our feet!

Maybe next time she’ll lower the bar

And we’ll meet expectations if not set too far!


Costumes were lovely! A sight to behold

Colours and styles, extra sewing to hold

Our bodies all in, there was plenty of strain

On the bodice laces and Glyn’s pants in the main!


Wigs a-plenty, so many to sort

Marea – well done – it’s lovely you thought

To put ears in, and re-style if not right

They looked splendid each and every night!


You also, with June, sorted makeup as well

A real ‘conveyor belt of action’ was set up – ‘twas swell

To see ‘panto people’ come out of the chair

Having makeup applied and sometimes their hair

Some you wouldn’t recognise, some looked much better

Whatever the outcome – I’ll write you that letter

Of commendation for the job that you’ve done

You seemed to enjoy it, you seemed to have fun!


A short mention for Zoe who spent time to care,

Curling Tongs ready she played with some hair.


The stage was managed by Tony and Ian

It was lovely to see them put the fear in

Some of the cast as they had a new role

Shouts from the side and the slapstick they stole

The limelight as they got their own back

Stood with their guns, dressed all in black!


The backdrops by Julie – sang with paintbrush in hand

Thank you also to the Jones’ who made a stand

They dabbled and daubed with paint each night

Until we were left with this glorious sight!

A small addition was made after show one

A missing apostrophe was added on.


Props were a doddle – well, less than past years!

But no less well tended by Jacky – all hers!

Pies and cakes all hand-made

I should have used them, they should have stayed

In the spotlight as I sang my song

Then if we went awfully wrong

We could have held them up and then appear

To give them, quite rightly, an almighty cheer!


The boys at the back – who have hovered around,

The lights and the video and also the sound,

Dave, Chris and Ken a fearsome three

We should all salute on bended knee

Your efforts at the back under scaffolding

Ken and Chris princes, with Dave the Sound King!

Mike needs a mention for drawing together

The effects of birdsong and also bad weather!

My feelings go out to that poor old bird

With a squawk and a gun shot will no longer be heard!


The spots up on high needed danger money

I really don’t think it’s all that funny

For people to laugh at Jim’s derriere

Sticking his bottom out in the air

As he climbed down from on high at the end of each show

Christina perhaps you needed to know

That you shared your position with a fun loving Scot

Who obviously likes his curries quite hot!



A special position please don’t let it affect ya

But Eileen at that table was 3rd Director

She’d sit and watch each practice night

Obviously wanting us to get it just right

I’ve got to mention the night she nearly left wet

Glyn had ‘F’d off’ in the ‘behind you’ set

She laughed so hard it just wasn’t fair

Apparently she had to clean down her chair!


Vicky was back in the group on the phone

Panto Box Office’ in a voice with dulcet tone,

She handled the masses with adroitness and speed

Posting out tickets, and answering each need.


The refreshment gang many thanks from us all

Turning up to refresh the peeps in the hall,

A relentless job that nobody wants

But thanks to the crew even if you helped once.


The Band, who try so hard to please

Each night fast or slow would we be on our knees?

Or would we be begging for musical speed?

I think one more member their band does need

A little creature that they can turn on

To tell them the speed of each little song

Or Colin could dress like a dwarf going home

And come back as a metronome!

One problem needs a mention a missing Fairy

Just who will they get the replacement to be?

Karen – a medal – you stepped up anon

With a few helpful words from prompt-boy, John

Four rehearsals later and you took the stage

Whilst the rest of us had practiced an age.

The dress, re-fitted, the hem was let down

We can’t thank you enough for filling that crown!


Sue and Chrissie you led us from dark to the light

From the audience reaction you got it just right!

Many thanks for the hours whilst sitting at home

Constantly sorting out problems on’t phone

Making sure all were ready whatever their role

Each night I followed my eyes as they stole

To you clapping and cheering and dancing at the back

You deserve all the applause and that is that!

Once more we have finished - we need to move on

So raise your glass – Farewell Dick Whittingdon!