A pleasant surprise ahead of Christmas pantomime
Jimmy Cricket has revealed his joyful amazement when he discovered the identity of one of his fellow pantomime performers.
The well-known Northern Irish entertainer is currently playing Professor Fitzwarren in Dick Whittington, which is running at the Gracie Fields Theatre until New Year’s Eve in Rochdale where he lives.
The panto also features The Chase’s Mark Labbett (also known as The Beast), who plays King Rat.
Jimmy, 72, says in his December column in the Preston-based Lancashire Post that over the years he has played a lot of shows at a small theatre called the West Cliff in Clacton-on-Sea in Essex.
“Every now and then, when I would come round to the front of house after the show to say goodnight, there would be a lady called Chrissie Grew with her two sons,” he recalls.
“As the years went by, Chrissie would keep in touch telling me about one of her boys – Danny – who developed a ‘magic act’.
“She would tell me about him taking his first tentative steps into the world of show business. Then her emails would get more exciting as more and more bookings would come in.
“Fast forward to a few months ago and I sign up to play panto in my adopted town of Rochdale this Christmas.
“I arrive to do the publicity launch and guess who’s playing Dick Whittington? You’re absolutely right! Danny! Yes, all those times his mum, Chrissie, took him to see stage shows planted seeds of a flower that has now blossomed.”