trystguy and lilioan dancejohn and terry playdavid dobson entyertainsharburn long view

Harburn Village Hall - Parties 2013-14


kids party 2013
Those passing the Hall last week - the brave souls who ran the gauntlet of the diggers and smashers and rollers would have been keenly aware of an even greater din than that of the machinery. Father Christmas was paying his annual visit to Harburn and some 30 Harburnian children were there to greet him and make their Christmas wishes known. kids party 2013Before they put in their requests (and the number of i-pads and x-box ones on the lists was quite amazing) Isobel and a brave band of helpers organised a number of traditional party games and had produced the normal Harburn spread to keep the audience quiet. No, quiet is definitely the wrong but then so is satisfied since the hoovering went on for an incredible length of time. On behalf of the mums, dads and children present, our thanks to Isobel and all the other SWRI volunteers.
Oh, by the way, also present was Ian Reid!



MUCH TO THE REGRET of virtually the whole Community, the 2013 Panto had to be called off. Not enough actors of certain age groups could be found, though many had hoped that the talent available would lead to a vintage production. What a shame. It is to be hoped that this cancellation does not mean the end of a long and successful tradition. Look left and it's..."it's, er, whatsisname who was in that one, you know, the one with the funny song.oh you know." Yep, it's Jimmy Rennie who hasn't trod the boards recently, but who, along with Alan Tuffs, brought the house down some fifteen years ago. Ah! Happy days.
actors party actors party
Above you can see, to the left, reasons for high expectations in 2013. Nicola and Grant both with years of bit-parts behind them and, in the last couple of years, both with their names above the title, Nicola giving a lively and well thought-out performance as a manipulative and confident Puss in Puss in Boots and Grant wowing the cheap seats on the first night and drawing rave reviews in an astonishing performance as Dame Etty Qwetty

To the right, the less young are reminded of past triumphs: Andrew has directed and starred in many a panto, and many other productions as well, notably the outstanding LOOT of a few years back.


maggie gray

Joanna, also has directed various offerings, Ayckbourn's Ernie's Incredible Illucinations was a witty choice to serve as an early Panto. More years than not, Joanna has been prowling behind the set in Stage-Manager-ly or similar form.Maggie is another who has been with the company for more than a few years. Since the inception it is rumoured. Recently we have hissed her stately Queen in Puss in Boots and admired her directorial skill in many other productions. Meanwhile I am reminded of other vital cogs in the Harburn Panto wheel. John Wilkinson, whose sets have astonished visitors (and taken many hours of labour) and David Dobson, who, increasingly over the last few years, has shown praiseworthy skill and patience as MD and even squeezed a solo out of Andrew Leslie a year or to back.


Jennie is another who hasn't been seen that side of the prosc. arch for a few years. Here she looks wistfully as she remembers triumphs such as The Cagebirds and has only quarter of an ear towards Morag, fresh from her triumph in the STEAMIE. OK neither iof these are Pantos, but the Wot No Panto Party wasn't exclusively confined to Panto reminiscence. Out of picture are too many actors who have snarled, blustered and thigh-slapped to be mentioned. Your Panto Mole hopes you hear the call in 2014, even if it got drowned by pneumatic drills in 2013.

actors party

actors party

A line or two about the party:

On this night of a thousand stars .......

This was when I realised that in the scheme of things 12 years do not qualify me to choose Harburn Pantomimes as my specialist subject.  My experience of these barely touches the surface as I discovered when a mind blowing collection of photographs covered every available space in the Hall and represented every available year from, it seemed, the Flood to, alas, not the present day. There was a wonderful buzz as people gathered round. It was good to see actors not yet in their teens and actors whose youthful performances were, shall we say, a while ago.  As I looked at the sets, the costumes and the groups on stage I thought of the dizzying number of man hours involved the years to bring such enjoyment to so many; both participants and audiences. Roll on next year.

The food was delicious too!