Sunday, 9 January 2005

Puppet Panto at the Junior Members' Party

Our Junior Members' Club had a party which featured an original puppet panto, entirely written and performed by staff.

Everyone had a fantastic time at our Junior Members' Party, held in January 2005. There were games, refreshments and a very special puppet panto, written and performed by Museum staff. Trains were run on the central layout and Chris additionally performed a sound effect show, replicating the sounds of trains.
Full story follows below pictures... read all about it!

Madame Hiccup and Jason the Dog give it their all
Trevor at the keyboard, providing live accompaniment
Our singing, dancing, performing Staff take their bows after the panto...

Our singing, dancing, performing Staff take their bows after the panto...

Sunday January 9th, 2005, saw the museum hold its Junior Members' Christmas Party. Advertised many weeks in advance, this event drew in an excellent attendance of 21 adults and 23 children who, together with a selection of museum staff, helped make for a wonderfully festive and enjoyable afternoon.

The Junior Members and their accompanying family members, many of whom are frequent visitors to the museum, were free to play and view our many exhibits while acquainting themselves with their fellow peers. Indeed, this was the first member-specific event that we have held to date, and such an opportunity for them to socialise was clearly appreciated.

Soon the children were invited to join in with the party games of (musical chairs, musical statues etc.) lead by museum manager Andrew Woodfield and accompanied by Trevor Littledale on our recently acquired electric keyboard. The games were eagerly contested by all, but everyone ended up with a pack of goodies to take home or consume then and there. It was a pleasure for the museum staff to witness the children so clearly enjoying themselves.

Later, it was the turn of the museum staff to perform, and this they did in style. Written and directed by ex-actor Andrew Woodfield, the Pantomime / Puppet Show "Babes in Toyland" depicted the valiant struggle against the wicked Squire Squeezem by Jason the dog, Dame Hiccup and Fairy Fortune.
Set against the backdrops of their poor country cottage, a ghostly fairy dell (both produced by volunteer graphics assistant, Lawrence Watts), a vintage bus and finally Toyland itself, they managed to counter the Squire's attempts to evict them from their humble abode.

Featuring songs, high drama, gripping dialogue and quite a few hilarious props, the pantomime was ably accompanied by Trevor Littledale on the electric keyboard. And naturally, audience participation was a key aspect in the show's success. Clear relief was visible on the faces of the staff involved, for two hurried rehearsals was all they had to prepare for the moment of truth.

The grand finale of the party was Museum Director Chris Littledale operating our superb OO-gauge railway layout. The event reached its conclusion with the serving of further refreshments and, for many, a last look around the museum for that particular day. A good time was had by all and the Junior Members finally set off home with their parents, no doubt destined to sleep very soundly following an afternoon of great enjoyment. As for the museum staff, we were inspired to repeat this event-format in the future.