Take a well-loved fairy tale, tell it with affection and humour and children all over the world are fascinated and enthralled. Ask them to hiss the Demon, cheer the handsome hero and shout their warnings to the good guys when the bad guys are around, and you are starting to build the noisy, excited atmosphere which is Harlequin Pantomime Productions. If it strikes you as odd that the hero is played by a good looking woman with to-die-for legs, and his mother is played by a tough looking man (who’ll sock any would be admirer in the jaw) well, it’s just another piece of this exciting jigsaw. Throw in some good tunes, some bad jokes, a touch of illusion, a dancing cow, and lots of slapstick, and you have a great big glorious Harlequin Pantomime Production.
Harlequin Pantomime Productions was started in 2006 by a group of experienced people who all love Amateur Dramatics. Over the past eleven years Harlequin Pantomime Productions has built up an excellent reputation for providing top class, quality Pantomime Productions.
The company produces an annual pantomime which performs at our home, Perton Civic Centre, for one week each January, it’s aim being to produce a quality pantomime that is fun for all the family which the local community can enjoy and afford. Under the leadership of our Chairman and the superb talent and effort of our Cast, Producer, Musical Director, Back-Stage and Technical Team and Front of House Management Team, Harlequin Pantomime Productions continues to go from strength to strength enjoying sell out performances. We are a ‘not for profit’ organization and a major part of our work is to support local charities. Since 2006 we have supported Wightwick Special School, Perton Children’s ‘safe play space’, Perton Youth Group and Perton Civic Centre, Perton Community Project and Childline.
Our first production ‘Treasure Island’, which opened in January 2007, was an overwhelming success and was followed by ‘Puss In Boots’ in 2008, ‘Aladdin’ in 2009, ‘Mother Goose’ in 2010, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ in 2011 and ‘Dick Whittington’ in 2012.
Paul has been performing for most of his life! From the Nativity Play at church aged four to Pantomime Dame at 45!! Originally from Yorkshire, Paul moved to the Midlands to attend University and never left!! He has taken leads in numerous plays and musicals such as “The Importance Of Being Earnest”, “Scrooge”, “A Man For All Seasons”, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Macbeth”, “HMS Pinafore”, “Pirates Of Penzance” to name but a few.
Paul has been doing pantomime for over 20 years and has played Dame for numerous companies over the last 18 years. As a Founding Member of Harlequin he brings with him a wealth of enthusiasm, talent and experience.
Peter is one of the founder members of the Company and celebrated last year his 50th year in theatre. Peter has been involved in both professional and amateur productions and was awarded a gold medal by NODA for 50 years of service to the organisation. He was also honored last year with a life membership to South Staffs Musical Theatre for his long years of service and his contributions to the company. Peter, like many others, started on stage whilst still at school. This soon developed into a major part of his life, not only performing on stage but in the design and building of scenery and props, a decision he has never regretted. Harlequin is a pantomime Company that Peter is very proud of. The people in it are special; they are a family, everyone working in harmony with each other. There is much laughter and acceptance of people for what they are, friends.
Jo has been involved with Harlequin since 2012 when she followed her son Marcus into the company and first volunteered as chaperone during show week.
In 2014 she gave in to her son’s nagging and joined the chorus on stage for Robin Hood along with her 2 other children, Hannah and Amias, to make it a real family affair.
Jo has served on Harlequin committee since, fulfilling the role of Membership Secretary, with responsibility for Social Media, and more recently served as acting Vice Chair.
John agreed to help out for one evening at Front of House during the Aladdin show in 2009. That quickly turned into helping every night and John has now worked at Front of House on every show since!He joined the Company ‘officially’ this year and was elected onto the Committee. He is now the Joint Treasurer and Front of House Manager. His wife Rachel and their two children, Sophie and Tom are all acting members of the pantomime, which makes their participation within Harlequin a truly family affair.
I have been involved with Harlequin since it started, the first two years by bringing my son to rehearsals and was encouraged to join as a member myself.I have enjoyed being part of the chorus also various minor roles over the years and this year have become a committee member and enjoying learning what’s involved in putting the show together.
Pam made her stage début at the age of 15 in a school production of ‘Scrooge’ and followed in pantomime with Youth Clubs. She is a Life Member of South Staffs Musical Theatre Company having served on Committee as member, Treasurer, Secretary and was their Ticket Secretary for 30 years.Pam became involved with Harlequin in 2007. She became Ticket Secretary in 2008 and is amazed with the success of the Company, as ticket sales are continuous from pantomime to pantomime. Harlequin is a big happy family and supports each other throughout.
Tara first became interested in amateur dramatics when her daughter Megan joined the company in 2014. She is very proud of the company’s success and is sure we will continue to produce shows of the high quality that has made us the success we are. Tara runs the raffles; she makes cakes for social events and is the Company Secretary. Most importantly she provides the refreshment’s at rehearsals, loves to organise the social events throughout the year.
Natalie has been a member of the Harlequin family since 2014, performing in Aladdin, Cinderella and Puss In Boots. She has been on the committee since 2015 and her main job is to ensure all of our young people, aged 16 and under, have their licences to perform. She also organises the certified DBS checked chaperones, to take care of them during show week.
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Chris Martin, originally from Yorkshire he has been involved with Harlequin pantomime for the last five years, becoming involved after years of watching. His wife, Alison, became the dame’s dresser and Chris’s involvement has progressed from there, first helping behind the scenes as stage hand and also helping out with the making and painting of scenery.For the last few years he has been part of the lighting team, mainly operating the follow spotlights on performance nights. He is much a jack-of-all-trades and will enthusiastically help out within the company wherever he can. A chef by trade, his skills come in very useful on most of our social events and also feeding the company on matinee day. Chris hopes to be able to continue to contribute to the company for many more years to come.