Dame’s panto in­jury or­deal

Show goes on with crutches for panto star

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Front Page - By Chris Britcher cbritcher@thek­m­group.co.uk @Ken­tishgazette

Pan­tomime dame Ben Roddy has taken to the stage on crutches for per­for­mances at the Mar­lowe Theatre this week after rup­tur­ing his an­kle just min­utes be­fore go­ing on stage at the week­end.

As he walked to the theatre on Sun­day, Mr Roddy, 43, turned his an­kle prior to the mati­nee per­for­mance.

But after he “twinged it” again dur­ing a dance rou­tine in the first half of the even­ing per­for­mance of Peter Pan, and by the in­ter­val he was in “eye-wa­ter­ing pain” and un­able to walk.

Forced to miss the sec­ond half of the show, he was rushed to hospi­tal by his wife with stars of the show hav­ing to fill in for him.

But, re­fus­ing to let the au­di­ence down, he was back in time for the next show – per­form­ing on crutches when the panto re­sumed on Tues­day after­noon.

He had been set to ap­pear in a wheel­chair, but just hours be­fore the cur­tain went up, his GP gave him the all clear to swap the wheels for sticks.

Speak­ing this week, Mr Roddy, who plays Mrs Smee in the show, said: “The doc­tor said I should rest for three weeks, but ob­vi­ously this is such an im­por­tant time of the year and I couldn’t let ev­ery­body down.

“I turned my an­kle on cob­bles as I walked to the Mar­lowe and al­though it was painful I think the adrenalin of per­form­ing put it to the back of my mind.

“But I twinged it again dur­ing a dance rou­tine very early in the even­ing show and by the in­ter­val the pain was eye-wa­ter­ing. I

thought I must have bro­ken it, it was so painful.

“The doc­tor said the worst case sce­nario was that I would have to have surgery, so we’re go­ing to make sure I don’t get to that stage. We’ll be care­ful and take things one day at a time. But, as the phrase goes, the show must go on.

“To be hon­est, it pro­vides lots of extra jokes.”

His role in the sec­ond half of Sun­day’s per­for­mance was ab­sorbed by co-star and panto reg­u­lar Lloyd Hol­lett rather than

ush­er­ing in Mr Roddy’s un­der­study. Pro­ducer Paul Hendy added: “In true show­busi­ness style, the cast pulled to­gether and the show went on.

“Ben did the whole show on crutches which is no easy feat, es­pe­cially as he has 12 cos­tume changes. The au­di­ence un­der­stood and were in­cred­i­bly sup­port­ive of him. Ben is a real trooper.”

This year’s panto, which stars Eas­ten­ders and Ex­tras star Shaun Wil­liamson, runs un­til Jan­uary 14.

Picture: Paul Amos FM5030038

Ben Roddy on crutches after his ac­ci­dent with fel­low ac­tor Lloyd Hol­lett, who stood in for him

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