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!