South Wales Evening Post - - LETTERS -

*Lloyds, Heol y Nant and High Street. S R Bai­ley, The Phar­macy. S R Bai­ley, Sta­tion Road. Well, Gwillym Road. Lloyds Phar­macy, Straw­berry Place, 8.30am-6pm. *Huw S Rees, The Phar­macy. The Phar­macy. Sains­bury’s In­store Phar­macy, Quay Pa­rade, 8am-10pm; Tesco Fforest­fach, 8am-8pm. *W A & J B Lewis, 697 Llangyfelach Road, 5.30-6.15pm. *Well, 55 Up­lands Cres­cent, 5.30-7pm. C Jones, 43 Gurnosfa, Gurnos, Lower Cwmtwrch. *Grav­elle Phar­macy.

*C I Hop­kins, Bridge Phar­macy. LAST night the cur­tain fell on this year’s Grand Theatre for the fi­nal time as panto sea­son came to close.

Over the past few weeks I’ve changed cos­tume 561 times, had 102 make-up ses­sions, handed over 204 goodie bags to the chil­dren who have come on stage for the tra­di­tional panto song sheet The Baby Shark Song . . . I’ve sung “Baby Shark doo doo doo doo doo” no less than 104 times!

I have no idea how many ice creams, pro­grammes and flash­ing light panto toys have been sold but the four weeks that panto runs at the Grand is vi­tal to the theatre as it rep­re­sents its busiest time of the year.

This year was my 21st panto at the Grand and I can’t be­lieve that next year’s show is al­ready on sale with posters for Peter Pan all over the Grand’s front of house area.

Twenty-one may seem like a lot and it’s some­thing I’m very proud of but in com­par­i­son to some I’m in my early days.

After hun­dreds of frock changes, decades of in-jokes, count­less sing-alongs and not a sin­gle iden­ti­fi­able plot, ac­tor Ber­wick Kaler is to re­tire as York Theatre Royal’s res­i­dent panto dame.

He will hang up his trade­mark gin­ger wig after this year’s show, The Grand Old Dame of York, which is his 40th at the theatre and his 50th pan­tomime in to­tal when this year’s panto closes on Fe­bru­ary 2.

North­ern Ire­land’s panto dame May Mcfet­tridge is cel­e­brat­ing 28 years star­ring in pan­tomimes in Belfast’s Grand Opera House.

What­ever your thoughts on its place in the the­atri­cal cal­en­dar, the an­nual pan­tomime is big busi­ness. If it wasn’t mak­ing money for its pro­duc­ers,

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