10:30pm on February 23rd. Pantomime was over and the post-panto blues had hit with a vengeance. In fact, several of the cast were moping for weeks, and a few were even spotted sitting in their cars outside Medina Theatre, costume in hand, gazing woefully at the doors and wishing the show was still going...
Alright, that's a slight exaggeration – but everyone was pretty gloomy!
The reviews were out and they were fantastic. A full-page spread in the Isle of Wight County Press and a spot on their website had everyone smiling, and an extra giggle came from Sara Bryce, the reviewer, when she revealed that her boyfriend had got so into the production that he'd hit her in the face in his hurry to snatch flying sweets from the air.
We also received a review from Fern Alexander, one of the contributors on the Island's website for under-25s, yoppul.co.uk. Another glowing report.
The show had been hailed as our 'best panto yet' and that felt good. For all the people who had put so much hard work into the production, both on stage and behind the scenes, it was just the response we had been hoping for.
An after-show night out for some of the younger cast members and an after-show lunch at the Ponda Rosa the day after the final performance seemed to lift everyone's spirits, and the highest honour the Strollers have to offer was awarded to its unsuspecting recipient...
The Orchestra's Accolade.
More commonly known as the 'Cock-Up Cup', this is a trophy that has been passed on from year to year to the cast or crew member who makes the biggest, most embarrassing cock-up of the show run.
Last year, it was awarded to fabulous fairy Nicola Steedman, whose skirt made a dramatic drop from her waist, leaving her in a bodice and granny pants, in the opening scene of Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood.
This year, the nominees were plenty, but the winner was unanimous:Step forward Patrick Barry, our Prince Rupert, with a hideous case of gender confusion.
Whilst engaging with the audience (beautifully), he found himself ad-libbing and in conversation with one of the audience's youngest members in the front row. As they shouted a response, he turned back to check he'd heard right:
"What did you say, little boy?" he asked.
"I'm a girl!"
Whoops. Bad luck, Patrick, in that moment you were crowned the cock-up champion for 2013. Better luck next time!
Next stop: the AGM in April, where Princess Aurora and Prince Rupert presented the cheques to our chosen charities for this year.
We pride ourselves on making sure our money never leaves the Island and goes to local charities, to make a difference to local people. This year, the causes were as worthwhile as ever, and we were thrilled to give away a grand total of £6000.
£500 went to the 1st East Cowes Guides, £500 to the Isle of Wight Synchronised Skating Team, £1,000 to the Isle of Wight Youth Trust, £2,000 to the Isle of Wight branch of Parkinsons UK and £2,000 to Layla's Trust.
Three new committee members were elected, and the carnival theme was announced. It was decided, as we did last year, to keep the theme a secret until the big reveal at Newport Carnival on Saturday, July 20, 2013 – it's become quite the popular guessing game!
Another lovely article in the Isle of Wight County Press followed the AGM, and pantomime was deemed truly over for another year, which could mean only one thing: it was time to start planning for the carnival season!