Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

35 Years? Oh, No It Isn't! Oh, Yes It Is! Panto Pair Celebrate over Three Decades of Making People Laugh

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

35 Years? Oh, No It Isn't! Oh, Yes It Is! Panto Pair Celebrate over Three Decades of Making People Laugh

Article excerpt

Byline: COREENA FORD

CAN a comedy duo really have notched up 35 years of panto together - Oh yes, they can!

Stage troupers Ray Spencer, MBE, and Bob Stott will next week reach the astonishing landmark when the curtain rises on Puss in Boots at the Customs House in South Shields.

And after celebrating three-andhalf decades of festive mayhem, the pair show no signs of stopping - they've already sold more than 1,000 tickets for next year's pantomime!

Ray and Bob, known to thousands of people as Tommy the Trumpeter and Dame Dotty, have been performing together since 1975 after learning their trade in the Westovians pantomime, in South Shields.

They quickly moved on to producing their own shows, but it was in 1999 that they began to perform at what has become their pantomime home, when Ray took over as executive director at the Customs House.

In 11 years together at the South Shields theatre alone they've brought smiles to the faces of more than 300,000 people, so it's possible that over the 35 years, more than a million people have been entertained by the duo.

Ray, 53, said: "Working with Bob is like putting on an old pair of slippers. They are warm and comfortable, though a bit worn, and often make you fall over. I met Bob when I was a teenager.

"His quick wit is legendary and woe betide those younger cast members who think they can chance their arm at ad-libbing when Bobbie's on stage.

y "I remember many years ago dancing dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle on the apron stage of the Pier Pavilion. Every night I noticed the stage floor was flexing every time I jumped upon it and one night I went straight through, leaving just my head and shoulders visible to the audience. The audience roared with laughter, Bob looked across and then to the audience and said 'Don't encourage him it's just a stage he is going through'.

"The secret of our 35 years together? Well, like any good marriage we only spend six weeks of the year together and when we are together we laugh! …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.