I was Aladdin; but this was no ordinary production, this one was special as it was staged on the lawn of my friend’s garden. My friend Peter was the producer and one of the cast, he wrote the script, or at least he told me what to say, and some other friends were conscripted to act as well. The stage had a curtain, a rope stretched between two trees onto which was attached a heavy drape; the curtain was lowered and raised rather than pulled across. Peter found me some ridiculous silky pantaloon trousers to wear and he supplied the clothing and props for the rest of the cast and whole event. We practised for days, or even weeks, for the time when we would put on this show for the world to see.
I don’t actually remember how many thousands came to see this spectacular Pantomime, I remember an audience of a few girls on one occasion and suspect that may be about it. However, I’m pleased to say a couple of posed shots were recorded for posterity on Peter’s Brownie camera and am delighted he sent me a copy which I’m going to share with you now.
In this first photograph we see the main characters of the play. I’m Aladdin on the left at the rear and Peter Jenkins is the wicked uncle at the right on the rear. In the foreground is Peter’s brother Neil and the other boy with a sword is Ian Keddie. The genie in the middle at the rear is a bit of a mystery as I don’t recall who played that part, but the name John Mann comes to mind, he lived two doors away from Peter.
This second photograph shows some more of the cast and left to right is Stephen Maybery (he always wore his gaberdine raincoat buttoned up to the neck), then me, then the mysterious genie. In the front row are Jeffrey Fuller, my brother Geoff Stokes, Ian Keddie and Neil Jenkins.
Don’t forget, you can find a lot more of my memories by looking through the Older Posts on this blog, and also on the Memories section on my website.
Photographs courtesy of Peter Jenkins.