Great Post, loved it.When I read Old Mohawk's post the mention of 'pantomime' it brought back a forgotten memory of going to the Birmingham Hippodrome. I was about four or five at the time and though I had no real recollection of the theme of the panto I know that one of the stars was Dickie Valentine. We sat in the in the middle section about 4 or 5 rows from the stage. At some point Dickie started to throw out handfuls of sweets into the audience, with several attempts at the balcony (no H&S in those days) and was looking to invite a child up on stage to join him. He looked straight in my direction and beckoned me to come up. I was petrified, especially when my Mom and Nan both tried to pull me out of my seat but I got quite angry and flatly refused. A young girl eventually went up and was encouraged to make animal noises as he sang Old Macdonalds Farm. I was really envious when, at the end, she was given a large box of sweets. My Mom and Nan kept on at me for ages for losing out!
It was a long shot but this afternoon I did a google search and to my surprise I found a copy of the programme from the show - and another article about the hippodrome and links the the Birmingham Chinese Quarter - see below. The panto I went to was the 1959 production of Aladdin and the stars were Norman Evans, Dickie Valentine and Eve Boswell. I did further searches on Eve Boswell's songs but have no recollection of her or her music. It was a different matter with Norman Evans as an old youtube clip jogged my memory of his role as widow Twanky and my recollection of Chinese performers using diablos in their act. It was as though someone had switched the light on. In case there has been a similar post I searched other just in case I'm repeating myself and found a piece under Xmas Parties - Lucas Children - it seems someone else on here saw the same panto!!!
My Mom must have taken me to other pantos as I remember being up in balcony seats and watching The Three Monarchs, whether this was the Hippodrome I have no Idea. I do have a few lines about another panto that I wrote about in infants school. This would have been My Weekend News which we always wrote up on the following Monday. Being 21st November this would have been a panto I went to on Friday 17th November 1960! On this occasion the stage was quite a way off. Apologies for the writing and spelling - I'm much improved and will translate as I still remember writing it and even the class and desk I sat in!
One Night I went to the theatre and there was a pair of binoculars you could put 6d into the machine and you could have binoculars. I looked at the stage . I saw a man playing a piano. He was playing the Teddy Bears Picnic. I knew the tune to the song.
I remember the piano on stage and a group of men singing and there being a banner attached to the piano - I have obviously attempted to repeat the name as I saw it on the banner - Brooig Boys but your guess as to who they were is a good as mine lol. If anyone could throw any light on who they were or which panto it was I'd be grateful.
If this post needs to be moved please feel free
With the streets of Southside soon-to-be filled with the sights and sounds of Chinese New Year, Hippodrome Heritage Volunteer Ivan Heard treats us to a fascinating look at the changing representations of ‘Chinese’ culture as seen on stage at Birmingham Hippodrome since the venue first opened its...www.birminghamhippodrome.com
View attachment 140728