Chairman’s Notes March 2016

Another year, another show, another success.


It seems we say the same thing year after year, anyone would think we were resting on our laurels. But we are not, and that is why we can keep saying the same thing year in year out.


It is another year on, and the the St Andrew’s Panto still keeps going strong. We sold 2068 tickets, and even though a few may not have turned up, the tickets were sold and they were paid for. That’s 99.46% of the total available for sale. Officially we had 12 tickets unsold for the entire run. A terrific result.


We say ‘another show’ but it wasn’t just another show. This year for the first time we held a special performance for the hearing impaired. I can recall the committee meeting not long after last year’s show, where we debated how we could maybe encourage more outreach from the show, maybe by making it more accessible.


We talked about a few things but settled on a performance specially designed for the hearing impaired. Outreach funding was available from the Duke of York’s Community Initiative and once again the Duke came up trumps. We received £700 to help us get this performance off the ground. In reality apart from paying the signer £250 the performance is sustainable without the funding and so hopefully we can do the same next year.


The signer, Julie Fletcher, was excellent. She is a professional theatre signer and so I don’t know what I expected other than excellence, however seeing her work was an experience. Despite attempts by Bill to put her off by standing as close as he could to her, Julie engaged the 30-40 hearing impaired audience members brilliantly, and got as many laughs if not more laughs than the actual cast! Well done St Andrew’s another pat on the back for us all.


Another success. It was another success. We sold out, we made plenty of money and we will be able to potentially donate even more to charity this year. We even had an underspend of adult costume budget from Jayne, but I suspect that was down to Connie deciding to go on stage in whatever he turned up in that day!


Success is about more than money though, of course it is. It’s about fun, and there’s plenty of that, it’s about inclusion and if you look at the programme now you will see a wide mix of nationalities, especially among the children, all enjoying themselves together. We talk about keeping Pantomime in the community and I genuinely believe that we are.


Outside of the main show Starlight produced another belter of a performance with “MacKenzie” a version of Matilda about a boy with magical powers. It was sell out, they always are, and it was great to see so many Starlight children stepping onto the main Panto stage.


So, to finish I just want to acknowledge as always the efforts of so many people in putting the production on. The fact that we can reflect on “Another year, another show, another success” is down to so many people.


So thank you to you all and here’s to another year of “Keeping Pantomime in the Community.


Simon Forster


March 2016

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