THE FAIRY GODMOTHER          - 28/11/2011      <--Prev : Next-->

I always wanted to be the Fairy Godmother in the Pantomime.....

Imagine me, I would be absolutely perfect, Fairy Godmothers are supposed to be a little bit portly, ditzy and vacuous ?

I am sure I could find a suitably large tutu in the Bulawayo Theatre Club Costume department, or I could make one out of the remnants mosquito net I cut up for my ZESA Survival Kit. We still have good old "Robin" starch in Zimbabwe which would make it stiff and voluminous.

I was supremely jealous of Noreen Welsh when she was invited to be the Fairy Godmother in the Panto, she took over from Geoffrey Atkins do you remember him, or was he the the Grand Old Dame of the pantomime? My memory escapes me....

I see the Bulawayo Panto this year is called Snow White and the Seven Aliens what happened to the Traditionalists amongst us I ask you. Maybe our men in Bulawayo are too tall to be dwarves ?

I wonder if they need a Fairy God Mother? I was always sure Brian Meikle would invite me to the role, but he never did. Mind you Snow White features a Wicked Ugly Step Mother does it not ? That sounds even more like me than the Fairy Godmother does these days !!

The closest I ever got to theatrical fame, was when I was Wife Number Seven, in the "King and I" now that is seriously low in the theatrical wifely pecking order !!

I was at school at the time and our Headmistress Miss Powell was furious when I was required to tint my hair black. Mom always made my clothes and my costumes and she made me a most fetching boob tube style, lime green satin number, (I was curvaceous enough to wear satin in those days.)

We would practice endlessly to take tiny steps and hold our hands in a position of supplication. The King of Siam was Peter Lewis he was very yummy, and his leading lady was Marjorie Herd. The incredible Barbara Heulin was the Grand High Vizier or something similar and beautiful Heather Millar was Princess Tuptim, while Gus Rabinovich was Prince Thulalonkor (sp?)

Heather was worth cultivating without a doubt as her brother was Bruce Millar who was every girls heart throb in the sixties !!

Oh Panto was fabulous in those early halcyon days, I remember it first in the Large City Hall, the Hall was packed and the Mayor and Mayoress at the time would always sit in the balcony on the right as one faced the stage.

In fact if I remember correctly, it was only after my yearning to be Mayoress of Bulawayo was thwarted, that I desired to become Fairy God Mother in the Panto. The two roles would not have gone hand in glove to be sure to be sure.

I was never interested in the Chorus Line oh no no no, never, it had to be the Fairy Godmother and for some strange reason, no one has ever approached me. Probably because I would undoubtedly forget the words, but there is a Prompt is there not? I mean how many words does a Fairy Godmother have to say ? "Abracadabra" only probably, even I can remember that and if one forgot one's words, one could ad lib artfully with several "Abracadabras" until the Prompt came in to save the day ?

The role of the Principal Boy never appealed to me, remember when the Principal Boy was always a girl for some strange and unfathomable reason !!

I am sure my height would have been a disadvantage, and Principal Boys always had awesome long legs, although on the other hand my legs are not bad from the knee downwards. I suppose as Dick Whittington I could have worn platform knee high boots ?

Principal Girl - aaaah now thats another story, I would practice my scales in the shower every night in the hope that someone might hear. I could have been the most perfect Principal Girl, it was not Mrs Dawes fault that they always put me in the back row in the choir at Eveline School....

I would have thought that the Panto Talent Scouts might have noticed that I was, after all, Pandora, in Pandora's Box at Coghlan Junior School, and I was also one of the Three Kings in a nativity scene at Leander Avenue School. Do not underestimate my theatrical capabilities Mr Producer !!

Certainly my diverse and varied talents have gone unnoticed in the Bulawayo Community for all these many many years.

Ho Hum, thankfully at the moment the thought of six weeks of rehearsals culminating in the Gala Night for Island Hospice, at this years panto, seem very unlikely !

As an aside, look up the word ABRACADABRA in Wickipaedia, the history is really fascinating.