January 4, 2012 by Amy Hansford
I thought I would be gutted when Snow White ended and I was. Ruby was the most fun I’ve ever had with a character, and that includes Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes. I miss the silliness, the costume, the rest of the cast, the cheer at the bows, the japes and my stripey tights. But hey ho, life goes on, and onwards this life goes to the next panto. This one is for the adults.
Everyone else has been rehearsing for this since September/October 2011. Me? I joined in a week before Christmas and have had three rehearsals. I have an entire show to learn in two weeks. Two weeks. I’m in the chorus, which means I’m in nearly every scene as a different character. You’d think the principals have the hardest job – when it comes to adult panto, not so much. So good luck to the director, musical director and choreographers as they certainly have their work cut out for them.
Will I manage to learn the entire thing in a fortnight? Come and find out. You can either cheer at my achievement or laugh as I wander aimlessly around the stage with little knowledge of where I’m meant to be or what I’m meant to be doing. It’s a cheap night out!
Category Comments | Tags: adult panto,amateur dramatics,amdram,Cinderella,funny,Griffin Players,Library Theatre,Luton,panto,pantomime,project,rehearsals | No Comments
January 3, 2012 by Amy Hansford
You may notice that ye olde blog looks a little different. I thought it was time for a little update and change of colour, plus changing to a theme that gives me a little more breathing space on the blog side of the panel compared to the last one. You like?
According to Google Analytics, someone came to my website last month using possibly the most amusing phrase ever as a search term. “how to touch a girls butt without her finding out while she is awaket”. Brilliant. Certainly tickled me. The answer is here for you kiddo: don’t. You’ll get the most amazing slap if you do.
And finally, I did say that I would make a hat to go with the washing-up themed pantomime dame dress below. That I did. Using baubles hotglued to a base and kept on with elastic, it’s meant to look like washing up bubbles. Unfortunately, given the rigorous nature of the dance routine involved, the hat had to be retired to the dressing room. Mind you, it still looked bloody good up to that point!
Category Comments, Costumes | Tags: analytics,blog,comment,costume,funny,Griffin Players,Luton,panto,pantomime,photoblog | No Comments
December 9, 2011 by Amy Hansford
I am absolutely loving panto this year. I am going to be gutted when it finishes tomorrow night. My character, Ruby the Fairy, is a bit rubbish but does try to help, honestly. She is so much fun to play, sending people up, upstaging others, slapstick tomfoolery, near pratfalls and plenty of gurning. I don’t think there’ll be another part like this in panto for an age, so I know I need to relish each show.
Hannah (chorus) and I backstage during a rare moment of serenity. Picture used with thanks to Abby McHutchinson.
Hannah, John (Dame Delia), Ben H (Prince Charming) and Faye (Sapphire the Fairy). Picture used with thanks to Abby McHutchinson.
The traditional panto singalong with Ben J (Prince Mario) and Debs (Pearl the Fairy). Picture used with thanks to Cherrylynn Cheney Gibb.
Category Uncategorized | Tags: 2011,acting,December,fun,pantomime,Ruby,Snow White | No Comments
November 5, 2011 by Amy Hansford
At the start of each month, I make a note of what has brought people to my website. This sometimes brings interesting insights into what I’m apparently offering to the world, and also concerns over what the people of the internet are looking for.
This month’s tidbits are:
“I have 9 1/2 toes”. A fact that I do not deny.
“Zoidberg costume”. I don’t have any information for you, but my word, I’d love to see it.
“Nude Leila Futurama pictures”. Are you the same person? Do you want to dress as him while thinking about her?
In other news, COME AND SEE ME IN PANTO! I’m the lead, and no, I’m not Snow White! See, this panto isn’t really about her. It’s about Ruby, the inept fairy who does her best (which isn’t very good) to help. And it’s funny. As in my cry with laughter at the rehearsals. And you know what? Free sweets. Yep. Bring it!
Category Uncategorized | Tags: Futurama,Griffin Players,internet,keywords,panto,pantomime,Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,theatre,toes,traffic | No Comments
August 22, 2011 by Amy Hansford
I turned 30 this month, or as the good Sara Cox taught me, 21 9. I had a cracking joint birthday party with a friend – Kids TV fancy dress like – and all in all have had a lovely month celebrating here and there.
I got a few gifts which were wonderful for me. They really demonstrated how lovely my friends are and how much they know me.
1. Cult Movie Art book. A beautiful, beautiful thing full of the most glorious depictions of many of the films we love.
2. 30th badge. Because you have to wear one on your birthday.
3. Love Hearts mug. A love a good cup of tea, and now I have a spanking new mug to enjoy it in!
4. Angry Birds toy. Because I’m a geekette and I like apps.
5. Simon’s Cat book. Because I love following this chap via my Google Reader.
I also received some gorgeous frames for (so I was instructed) pictures to put up so that Little L knows I was a fun person before (and since) being a mum, plus “The Pantomime Book” which is just the most apt thing ever.
I have great friends and family. Very chuffed.
Category Uncategorized | Tags: 30,birthday,geek,geekette,gifts,humour,me,pantomime,tea | No Comments
February 3, 2011 by Amy Hansford
So, you know that adult panto I did the costumes for? The one that’s taken over my life (in a good way) recently? The songs from which I keep singing and can’t get enough of?
Turns out the critic loved it too )
“Griffins’ pulled off a really good evening’s entertainment again at Luton Library Theatre – with a well written adult pantomime which was also written by John O’Leary.
Sometimes, combining the two roles does not always work well, but I was impressed with the slickness of the production and the very good and un-panto-like choreography from co-writer Kate Johnson.
As always, Paul Ramsey excelled with his music. There were some very good, funny and rude songs, but all sung really well? with some super harmonies.
I liked the way that John had worked the ‘Alice’ story through – but in a good way! – and using Joe Butcher as the Narrator and Cheshire Cat was inspired. It enabled Joe to show his comedy side yet again, and the litter tray incidents in particular were hilarious.
The opening scene, after a nicely set audience warm-up from Richard Haxell, was exciting. It gave the impression of the start of a film and incorporated some very funny touches and excellent lighting.
I was very impressed with the lighting from Andrew Maxted, creating some very good effects which enhanced the scenes and excellent sets.
I also found the sound to be good – everything gelled and worked well.
Amy Wake costumes the cast well, and congratulations on getting a Babygro to fit Errol Albert, who played a very funny ‘Baby’! He had the mannerisms of a baby, then came out with some lovely fruity comments!
There were some very good performances in this excellent cast. Josh Thompson as a delightfully gar March Hare was super and showed a completely different side to his skills. I loved his solo at the beginning of Act 2.
Jenna Ryder-Oliver was strong and ascerbic as the Queen Of Hearts. Jenna has gained in confidence and really gets into her characters well.
Ben Jaggers as the King had a very interesting appendage and gave us a good contracting portrayal to the Queen.
Lorna Trapp’s alcoholic Dormouse was incredibly funny and I should think very difficult to keep going night after night.
Michele Rolt was also funny in her sleeping bag as the Caterpillar, coping with the effects of her magic mushrooms! Two very good actresses who played for all they were worth.
Melanie Cavanagh was a charming Alison. I loved her number at the beginning of the show, with her very risque backing group who gave us some lovely harmonies. Mel had probably the hardest part in trying to be ingenuous but also to come out with some very rude lines – and she did it so well.
Aimee Thimpson was a beautifully common White Rabbit, who then sang a great blues/gospel song, showing off her powerful voice, while Rob Hayden was a wonderfully awfu Mad Hatter, showing all the traits of a hooligan.
A new name to me was Andy Sizmur who played three smaller parts and gave them all a different feel.
Richard Alexander and Richard Haxell played Tweedledumb and Tweedledee as Siamese twins, which again was very funny – and even funnier when Tweedledee had his head cut off by the King. Very nicely accomplished, giving the remaining twin some lovely chances for pathos.
I’m not sure who had all the ideas or if it was a collaboration, but there were some excellent and different scenarios which really worked and gave the production that extra something which lifted it from the normal adult pantomime.
I must also compliment the chorus of Jade Newall, Andy Harris, Debbie Cavanagh and Reece Lowen who all worked their socks off providing back-up to the principals, and I loved Reece’s flower scene. He had me in stitches.
So, I think you can tell I was very impressed with this production. Not only did it have me laighing a lot, it also left me feeling that I had seen a technically sound production as well as a well-acted show with strong music and effects. Thank you Griffins for brightening a cold January evening.”
Category Uncategorized | Tags: Alison Wonderbra,costumes,critic,Griffin Players,Griffins,Luton,pantomime,review | No Comments
October 2, 2010 by Amy Hansford
As the publicity officer for the Griffin Players, I set up a photoshoot for the upcoming family pantomime, Dick Whittington. If you are familiar with the story, you’ll know that Dick Whittington befriends a cat who clears the streets of London of the overrunning rat population. So, a great excuse to go and play with some kittens at the Cats Protection rehoming centre in Dunstable.
Here’s one of the little 8 week cuties who is going to its new home tomorrow.
Category Uncategorized | Tags: Cats Protection,Luton,pantomime,publicity | No Comments
April 11, 2010 by Amy Hansford
To celebrate the Easter weekend just gone, I did a bunk* off work and went to see Circus Hilarious under the advice of a friend of mine. The intention was to go and watch some of their slapstick routines to help with ideas for the upcoming pantomimes. As was somewhat expected, Catford’s Broadway theatre was somewhat thin on the ground audience-wise. It’s an outdated premise, the circus. It can’t still be that funny, can it? Hell yes. It followed the golden rules of live entertainment performance;
- Something for the little ones; half the audience were under 8s and they were totally captivated by the whole thing. Literally, sitting on the edge of their seats to get just slightly closer to the stage. Mesmorised. Plus the whole thing about the stooge doing all the naughty things that children arne’t allowed to do, like call out, throw things, silly words and names.
- Something for the mums; I have to say, Danny Adams (the stooge) is certainly very kind on the eye. Not to mention his brother, Johnny Knox (I think).
- Something for the dads; the four Circus Hilarious dancers gradually wore more and more clothing as the show went on. I would say that four leggy blondes wearing body stockings and bikins to open the show certainly adds glamour, if not the glitz.
- Audience participation; from getting people on to the stage to throwing things at them from it, everyone joined in.
- Personable; Clive Webb and Danny Adams signed autographs for the kids after the show and were happy to spend a minute with everyone there. A superfan had come to see them – a grown woman told them ‘I’ve seen you like, fifteen times or summet’, although I was a little off put that all this was said without looking up from her mobile from which she was texting at the time. It does annoy me a little (and this goes for all my interests) when fans feel that their idols owe them something for turning up. Surely the point is to have that moment with the person you’ve gone to see? Or perhaps modern life continues to dictate that the world is soon to be seen through the eyes of a cameraphone? Sorry, I went off for a little rant there.
But it was so damned funny. Every other second was some gag or another, and all so slick. Magic tricks that I just do not know the logic or workings of. Slapstick routines where the slapstick wasn’t even the highlight. Naughty jokes to fly over the heads of babes and into the ears of those paying for the tickets. Cartoon-like explosions and costumes. I’m not giving away anything they did – I would love to see them again and urge you to do the same.
Now the campaign to get them on Twitter. Hmm…
*I took a day’s leave. But saying I took a bun makes me look cool. It does. Just ask Fonzie.
Category Reviews | Tags: comedy,london,pantomime,slapstick | No Comments
February 6, 2010 by Amy Hansford
Of course I used protection - the dad's a security guard, innit?
Our panto dame’s glamorous assistant is (his wife) the very chavvy and heavily pregnant Shaniqua. Last night being Shaniqua’s night off, Reniqua stood in for her. So here’s an embarassing picture of Reece Lowen (that’s Reece Lowan) in drag.
Category Comments | Tags: costume,drag,funny,pantomime,photoblog,pregnant | No Comments
January 31, 2010 by Amy Hansford
Coconut hair style + hella hairspray + 3 hours = this. Do note that Jenna was standing completely still during this photo.
Apologies as I have been taking pictures but been crawling in at 3am and have been unable to be ersed.
Category Comments | Tags: costume,funny,pantomime,photoblog | No Comments