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Director’s Notes - Snow White

I prefer to choose pantomimes which are a little different from the usual ones, and so this version of Snow White appealed to me. Replacing dwarfs with wood folk is much more believable and easier by far to cast! It also moves away from the Disney version, so you'll find the costumes do not relate to those portrayed in the cartoon version.

I started putting on pantomimes back in 2004 with 'A Lad In a Manger' which I'd heard about on Radio 2's Good Morning Sunday programme. As it was based on the nativity I felt it had to be performed before 6th January, the 12th night of Christmas. That's a timetable we'd find difficult to adhere to now!

Yet many Christian style pantomimes are based on the nativity, and I've no ambition to do another. Although this means we have been offering pantomimes for ten years it does not represent 10 pantomimes as since 2008 they changed to every other year. In 2010 we were also given permission to offer secular pantomimes as I couldn't find any other Christian ones I liked.

I'm always in awe when I begin the reading and casting process and there are several regular and talented actors returning to support this particular form of fund-raising. Michael Cooke has been in every one of our St. Mary's pantomimes - he must have the patience of Job - and now his children are taking part as well; plus Sarah Davis, Tricia Corbett, and Andrew Brownless have been in many of our productions.  Alan Ridley decided to take part even though he moved to Kettering in November!!! That's got to be devotion to the cause.  Several talented actors take part, so please forgive me if I left your name off this list.

It's also wonderful to welcome new faces: Sharon and Beth Colebrook, Jackie Settle, and Clare Dunstall

This year my daughter Sarah Davis has a different job with more responsibility and more hours, plus she accepted the role of Electra and could not direct, consequently I am director again for this panto. So for behind the scenes help we have again had John and Bobby Clarke supporting us, and of course my patient (long-suffering) and talented husband, Christopher. New faces here: Mary Clair Kelly as Assistant Director is an acting professional, and even though she's studying has been amazing support, especially in the last few weeks when we always wonder if it will be ready in time and I start to panic. Tony & Janet Stimpson have been helping with scenery, costumes and helping John back stage, not forgetting Hilary Clark who also helped with costumes, took on prompt, and acted as a second support to the director.

I love doing these shows (the cast may wonder about this given our usual round of last minute panicking) as it gives us a chance to enjoy ourselves as well as raise funds, and hopefully to bring enjoyment to our audiences as well.

Vanessa Buck

Mirror with face

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