Sunday, 13 December 2015

Preparing to get lamped

Twelve months go quickly and, lo and behold, it's time for the first pantomime of the season.  (We're going to two this year.  Get us).

Today's - at The Carriageworks in Leeds - is always special as it doubles up as the Aireborough Lions RUFC Christmas outing.  And it's a very clever arrangement.

The theatre is located right beside the German market in the city centre where they serve beer.  We traditionally congregate there two hours before the performance to enable the adults to wet their whistles whilst the kids complain.  Then we all file in, the parents feeling much more enthused about going to a pantomime than when they arrived.  Genius.  

That's this year's cast you can see pictured above and the lamp tells you that they're appearing in Aladdin.  The title role is filled by Lee Brennan who used to be in boy band 911.  Oh yes, we get all the big names here in Yorkshire.

But he'll have to be good to come close to matching the talents of my all-time favourite panto king.  His name was Billy Bones and, for many years, he was the star turn in Coleraine's pantomime in the Town Hall.

One of my earliest clear childhood memories was speaking to the great man just a couple of hours before curtain up one year.  He was standing in our living room.  And he was standing in our living room because he was our insurance man and my mum was his last customer of the day.

Happy days.