Panto show goes on despite power outage

There is an old showbiz saying that ‘the show must go on’ whatever happens, and that was never truer than the last day of the Morpeth Pantomime Society season.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 4:35 pm
Members of the Morpeth Pantomime Society Puss in Boots cast: David Clarke, Eric Tolman, Mandy Dalglish, Jane Pedersen, Martha Gammer and Laura Street.
Members of the Morpeth Pantomime Society Puss in Boots cast: David Clarke, Eric Tolman, Mandy Dalglish, Jane Pedersen, Martha Gammer and Laura Street.

After two successful opening evening shows, the cast and crew of Puss in Boots arrived at the town’s King Edward VI School for the Saturday matinee performance to find that the power was off due to Storm Malik.

Morpeth Pantomime Society chairman Bruce Ennion said: “Our committee members held a risk assessment meeting to see if we could at least put on a show when it was daylight before it went dark outside.

“After much thought and discussion, especially about health and safety, we put in place procedures to manage the situation. We also took a vote among the cast and they were unanimous that they would give it their best shot.”

The show went on before almost a full house with no electric lighting, sound, band, mics or prompt facility.

However, during the first half, cast member Duncan Hutton – he was playing the part of the giant – somehow managed to source a generator that was rigged up during an extended interval patiently sat through by an audience, appreciative of the major efforts being made to put on a show for them.

After that interval the second half of the show continued with the band, communication and limited lighting – but there was still the dilemma about how to stage the evening performance.

However, another generator appeared thanks to Duncan, more backstage work was carried out as daylight faded, garden and camping floodlights helped cast put their costumes and make-up on, cars were mobilised to use their headlights to make sure the audience could safely get into the hall and fairy lights hung across the reception area to set the scene for the show.

Again, a near full-house loved every moment of the show and the efforts being made to stage it for them despite the difficulties.

All-in-all said Bruce, the shows went on because of the sheer determination of the cast, crew and Pantomime Society members not to disappoint everyone who had bought tickets for the two performances, especially after last year’s show had to be cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions.