Babes in the Wood, at the Edinburgh Kings Theatre.
Ran from 6th December 1994 to 28th January 1995
Cast and Running order
Tommy: Tommy Cannon
Nottingham Town Square
Nottingham Goose Fair
Cannon and Ball
Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball are one of Britain’s funniest and most successful double acts. In a career spanning over 25 years they have achieved a string of honours that puts them among the all-time greats of showbusiness.
On television they have starred in their own series practically every year since 1979; they have also ‘guested’ on all the major shows including Wogan, Parkinson, Des O’Connor, Sunday night at the Palladium, several Royal Variety Shows, and been featured in a BBC Documentary Funny Business based on double acts, which also included footage on Martin & Lewis, Laurel & Hardy, and Morecambe & Wise.
To add to their pedigree, they remain the only act to have won three separate national Club Awards; been named as the prestigious Variety Club ‘Personalities of the Year’; starred in their own feature film The Boys in Blue which, in addition to its cinema success, has gone on to become a video best-seller; and been the subject of This Is Your Life.
However, it is as the undisputed Kings of Live Entertainment that Cannon & Ball have set standards that will probably never be equalled.
During the 1970’s they built a strong reputation around the UK cabaret club circuit for being a great live act. They also toured extensively in the hotel circuits of Australia and South Africa.
In 1980 they ‘topped the bill’ for the very first time at the North Pier, Blackpool, where they played to capacity business for 22 weeks; a feat surpassed in 1991 when they returned to the Pier and celebrated their 25th Anniversary with a 25-week sell-out season.
In addition to Blackpool, Tom and Bob have broken records in theatres all over the UK, including London. In 1981 they played a 6-week season at the Dominion Theatre when every seat was sold before the show opened, and in 1988 their pantomime Babes in the Wood broke all previous pantomime records at the world famous London Palladium, where Cannon & Ball created the record for the largest box office amount taken in one week in British Theatre History.
During 1993 they were offered the chance to play a season in the USA. Orlando, Florida was the location. Their three month season was such a success that they were immediately re-booked for April, May, June 1994, starring at King Henry’s Feast, Orlando and making several US television appearances. They made an instant impact and are set to return for more live dates and television in 1995.
And now it’s off to Bonnie Scotland for their Scottish Pantomime debut at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh which they are looking forward to immensely, in the wonderful traditional family pantomime Babes in the Wood.
Even after nearly 30 years of making people laugh, Tom and Bob are still enjoying every minute themselves and are looking forward to carrying on doing so for many years to come.
John Leslie was born in February 1965, in Edinburgh, Scotland, where his parents still live.
He attended the James Gillespie High School and left after having been awarded 7 “O” Levels. John went on to a three year course at Stevenson College of Further Education in Musical Instrument Technology.
In November 1987 he began working with the satellite television station “Super Channel”. John presented a programme called Formula One which was transmitted five days a week. Formula One was a musical show which included rock charts, request spots and interviews with artistes such as Robert Palmer, Level 42 and Simple Minds.
In April 1989 John left Super Channel and joined BBC Children’s most successful television show – Blue Peter. John’s filming schedule has taken him all over the world including Zimbabwe, West Indies, Japan, The Falklands and the list goes on.
During 1993 John co-presented Entertainment Express with Selina Scott for the BBC. The series was a lively and critical look at entertainment on both sides of the Atlantic and was transmitted on Friday evenings.
John has presented the Royal Tournament, Crinkley Bottom Olympics for Noel Edmond’s Garden Party, The BAFTA Awards and Children In Need for BBC Scotland as well as narrating a variety of concerts for various orchestras such as The Halle, London Philharmonic and Bournemouth Sinfonietta. He has just completed a new series for London Weekend Television, and a second series for Meridian’s Late night Live, confirming John’s broad appeal in the realm of mainstream entertainment. John has also been working on Granada’s This Morning as their entertainment correspondent, previewing new film and theatre productions from the U.S. and U.K. and interviewing stars such as Steven Spielberg, Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Mia Farrow, Willem Dafoe, David Hasselhoff, Cliff Richard, The Bee Gees and many more. This has given John the opportunity to direct and edit his own films.
John has been seen as The Commander in Scavengers. Carlton Television and 20th Century Fox collaborated to produce a ground breaking sci-fi adventure series. Described as a cross between Aliens and The Krypton Factor, it is ITV’s most expensive and ambitious gameshow and has been aired on Saturday evening on the network. A second series is planned for the beginning of 1995.
Most recently, John has been working with the BBC and will be on our screens weekly with Anne & Nick’s Good Morning as their Entertainment Correspondent.
John’s hobbies include sport, particularly tennis, football and squash. He is an ardent supporter of Hibernian Football Club and has played for Fountain Amateur. He loves both popular and classical music and fulfilled a lifetime ambition when he conducted an orchestra in concert at the Royal Albert Hall with a little help from Sian Edwards and Sir Colin Davies. (Bizet’s prelude to Carmen will never sound the same again!)
John also takes an active interest in conservation, especially the preservation of rainforests and is an honorary committee member of Elle Friend. He is actively involved with many charities including Shelter, Radio Lollipop, NSPCC and Cancer Research.
Grant Stott has only recently joined the world of media, but has come a long way in a short time.
His career began as a Radio Presenter with Edinburgh Station “Max-AM” in 1990. He swiftly changed frequencies and joined the “Forth-FM” team, of which he is still very much a part of today, with his Friday afternoon show (matinees allowing!) and the Scottish network Chart Show on Saturday lunchtime’s. Shortly after joining Forth FM he enjoyed a two year run on BBC Radio Scotland’s Check This.
The world of TV broadcasting held an attraction for Grant and as a natural progression he came to present a number of educational programmes for the BBC such as GO45, and the spin off GO4X.
1993 saw Grant’s big TV break when he presented the highly successful Sunday morning children’s TV show Wemyss Bay 902101. In addition to Wemyss Bay, Grant also presented Vox-Pops on the lunchtime edition of Scotland Today, wrote his own children’s page Stottspot for The Edinburgh Evening News and last Christmas, made his pantomime debut at The King’s Theatre Glasgow in their production of Dick Whittington.
1994 has also been a very hectic 12 months for him as he continued to make education programmes for BBC TV Scotland. This time a brand new series of programmes called See You, See Me. Grant also popped up on the telly during the Scottish school holidays introducing Children’s BBC Scotland. 1994 saw Grant presenting, for the third consecutive time, Children In Need as part of BBC Scotland’s output.
Grant can think of no better way of finishing off 1994 and starting 1995 than appearing in his home city’s top pantomime at The King’s.
Gary Denis is a native of Edinburgh. Born and brought up in Davidson’s Mains, he completed his education at the Heriot-Watt College where he studied science, although his heart was always in the theatre. At the age of 19 Gary won a major talent contest which opened the door for professional work in variety shows.
Gary has long been established as one of Scotland’s most popular and talented comedians on the cabaret and club circuit throughout the United Kingdom. He has appeared with a host of British and American variety stars and his highly polished art has taken him as far afield as Hong Kong and San Francisco.
He has an impressive list of television credits to his name including Patter Merchants, Battle of the Comics, Funny You Should Say That, Do You Come Here Often, and, has featured in several TV commercials.
Gary has been one of the fortunates in showbusiness who has rarely been out of work and one of the few Scottish comics to achieve success south of the border. Last year Gary played King Boabie in Sleeping Beauty and had great fun with his pals Les Dennis, Jan Wilson and Gerard Kelly. He has also been involved as co-author along with Chris Potter in the King’s Theatre pantomimes Dick Whittington and Aladdin. Away from the theatre Gary’s main interest – apart from watching the Hibs – is golf and he is a member of Kingsknowe Golf Club here in Edinburgh. He is delighted to be back at the King’s and home in Edinburgh for Christmas.
Charles Kearney studied acting at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama where his talents proved most suited to Shakespeare, Chekhov and Restoration Comedy and was awarded the James Bridie Memorial Medal and the comedy prize in the most successful year the college has ever produced. In the twenty years since, he has appeared on just about every stage in the country, written for press and television and established himself as one of Scotland’s leading character actors.
Known to the television watching public as Sandy Menzies in the popular soap Garnock Way, viewers have recently been reminded of his versatility with his performance as the drunken, womanising Minister, Rev. Stuart Gibson in BBC Television’s Sunset Song, appearances in Taggart, City Lights, Shadow of the Stone, The Campbells, Rab C. Nesbit, Strathblair and most recently Geordie Hislop in Take The High Road. Younger viewers may recognise him as The Storyteller from Scottish TV’s Wemyss Bay 902101. He has appeared on film with James Robertson Justice in The Massacre of Glencoe, with Edward Woodward in The Wicker Man and with Burt Lancaster in Local Hero.
Charles is also well known in the business as a voice-over artist in the world of commercials where his appearance and V/O’s have sold Fosters to the Australians, electronics to the Americans and whiskey to the World. He also held the record for the most Morning Stories in a year on BBC Radio. On stage he has appeared in such diverse roles as Big Bill in The Sash, Frank in Educating Rita, Claudius in Hamlet and more recently touring with his one-man show The Importance of Being Oscar as Oscar Wilde.
Charles is very happy to be back at the King’s Theatre, once again.
Jim was born in Glasgow and trained at the R.S.A.M.D. Since then he has worked extensively throughout Britain. Jim’s other theatre work includes the original Slab Boy’s at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and at the Royal Court Theatre, London. Jim created the part of Spanky. Two seasons at the Byre Theatre St. Andrews followed, among other plays, Jim played the part of the husband in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park. Other productions include; Accidental Death of an Anarchist at the Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh; What the Butler Saw and several pantomimes at the Citizens Theatre, Glasgow; other pantomimes include the Sheriff of Nottingham in Babes in the Wood, the Emperor of China in Aladdin with Gerard Kelly at the King’s Theatre Edinburgh and Glasgow and A Christmas Carol with Wildcat Theatre Company. Me has also worked with the following companies; Perth Rep; Cumbernauld Theatre; Fablevision; Annexe Theatre Company; Unit One Theatre Company; and most recently the Fifth Estate Theatre Company in the Last of the Lairds playing the Laird, and Jim has just finished a successful run of The Odd Couple for Borderline. Jim’s television work includes; for BBC Kessler, The Borgias, Cloud Howe, Just a Boys Game, Rab C. Nesbit. Down Among the Big Boys and Para Handy. For ITV Take the High Road, A Sense of Freedom, Michael Winner’s True Crimes, The Good Guys and Doctor Finlay’s Casebook.
Maria Miller and Martin Thom
Maria trained at the R.S.A.M.D. and graduated with a B.A. in Dramatic Arts in 1987.
Since then she has worked throughout Scotland for various theatre companies, such as Dundee Rep, Perth Rep, The Lyceum, 7:84, Wildcat, The Citizens and The Brunton.
Her credits include: Irma in Irma La Douce, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Piaf in Piaf, Beauty in Beauty and the Beast, and Angelique in The Hypochondriak. She has also been involved in various new plays. Her television credits include: Border Warfare and John Brown’s Body both for Channel 4. Ghost Train, new Year Pieces and The Brown Man.
This will be Maria’s 7th Christmas show and she is happy to be at the King’s Edinburgh for the first time.
Martin’s drama training took place at Queen Margaret College, where before graduating in 1992 he took part in Marat Sade, Walter, Tartuffe, Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Snow Queen, The Winter’s Tale and The Skin Game. Other appearances include Evening News Capital Award winning play The Complete and Utter Guide to Theatre (Festival Fringe 1991), the title role in Macbeth (Company of Light) and Columbus: Blooding the Ocean at the Traverse Theatre. Martin’s TV and film credits include Dr Finlay (STV), Foo Goo and Line of Fire (Edinburgh College of Art) and Cloud 9 (West Surrey College of Art & Design).
Alex Craig – Choreographer
Alex trained originally in Drama at Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret College, and has been taking further training in Jazz Dance with The Victor Upshaw Company in Paris. In 1991 he was able to develop his skills by taking part on an intensive Jazz Dance course at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Centre in New York, with subsidy from The Scottish Arts Council.
He started his career in dance in 1981 as a Dance Workshop Presenter with Scottish Ballet Workshop, moving on to dance professionally for choreographers such as Brian Rogers, Ray Cornell and Rhys Nelson amongst many others. In recent years he has founded The National Youth Jazz Dance Festival and has worked on numerous Community Dance projects throughout Scotland. He is no stranger to choreographing pantomime, having already three other titles under his belt, Sleeping Beauty 1992, Cinderella 1993 and this year’s production of Aladdin all for The MacRobert Arts Centre in Stirling. Alex is always busy choreographing shows and projects, but 1994 has been the most hectic year to date. He choreographed the dance/drama production, Glass for West Lothian Youth Theatre in the Spring of ’94.
Three summer seasons followed in the shape of The Karen Casey Show, Blackpool, Pavillion Summer Show, Pleasureland, Southport and The Rock Star Shows, The Star, Blackpool Pleasure Beach. In August he travelled to Frankfurt in Germany to choreograph a fashion show at The Holiday Inn International Conference Centre for The Ski Wear Company Salomman. This was followed by Alex choreographing and directing The King is Dead for The Lothian Schools Jazz Dance Group in The Edinburgh Festival. He also finds time to teach regularly at The Theatre School of Dance and Drama, Edinburgh and lecture in Dance at Edinburgh’s Telford College. Future work includes summer seasons in Blackpool and Morecambe. Alex is delighted to be choreographing Babes in the Wood.
Kennedy Aitchison – Musical Director
Born in Lanarkshire in 1962, Kennedy graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 1982. He has since followed a career as a pianist, organist, synthesizer player, arranger and composer mainly in television, radio and the variety and musical theatres. After assisting the musical director in the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony in Edinburgh in 1986, a move to London provided much work for BBC Television, Bob Says Opportunity Knocks, The Les Dawson Show, Only Fools and Horses etc. Thames TV’s The Best of Magic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as well as tours and one night stands with The Three Degrees, The Supremes, Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes, Randy Crawford and Marti Webb. He returned to Scotland in 1991, picking up work with Scottish Opera, City of Glasgow Philharmonic Orchestra, Summer Season at the Gaiety Theatre, Ayr and of course is now a regular here at the panto at the King’s.
Over the last year or so Kennedy has worked on Shirley Valentine with Elaine C Smith, regularly as Musical Director to Allan Stewart and Brenda Cochrane, spent a fifteen week season at the Ayr Gaiety and provided music for the Scottish BAFTA Awards for BBC Scotland. He is very much looking forward to working with the highly professional King’s Theatre team again.
Chris Potter – Director
Chris has been Manager of the King’s Theatre since 1987. Prior to that, he managed the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy for thirteen years. During that time he wrote and directed twelve pantomimes and also wrote the lyrics for the songs. He also directed Oliver! starring Walter Carr as Fagin and The King and I with Jackie Farrell in the title role.
Babes in the Wood is the third pantomime Chris has directed since coming to the King’s. He started his career in the Theatre after graduating with an Honours Degree in Drama at Manchester University and in 1995 will be celebrating 25 years as a Theatre Manager.
Away from the Theatre, Chris enjoys cricket and ploughing through holiday brochures while dreaming of his next visit to a land where the sun always shines -just as in a Pantomime!
Francis Reid – Lighting Designer
Francis saw his first King’s pantomime in the 1930s and he has been stagestruck ever since. Born in Prestonpans, educated in Edinburgh at Heriot’s and the University, he studied for a life in the theatre by queuing for the early doors of the now vanished gods of the King’s and having a permanent booking in the abandoned gallery of the Lyceum. (His fond memories also include the Empire, Gateway, Palladium and Leith Gaiety). After army national service spent opera-going in Germany, followed by five years apprenticeship in stage management, he specialised in lighting and was lighting designer for Glyndebourne Opera throughout the sixties. He has subsequently designed lighting for more than 250 productions, including over 30 in London’s West End and at least 50 pantomimes. His career has also included spells as Director of the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds, Head of the Department of Theatre Design at London’s Central School of Art and Design and Dean of the School of Technical Arts at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Six books covering Lighting, Staging, Design and Administration have led to many invitations to teach overseas – since last year’s panto, in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Montreal, Moscow, Germany and Cyprus. But Trancis always returns home for panto, this year he is also lighting Cinderella at Cardiff and Aladdin in Norwich.
Nigel Hook – Additional Set and Costume Designer
Nigel began his career at Perth Theatre and has designed for many leading regional theatres, including Birmingham Rep., Pitlochry Festival Theatre, York Theatre Royal, Colchester Mercury Theatre, Redgrave Theatre Farnham, and The Perth and Edinburgh Festivals. Nigel designed several productions for Northern Stage Company in Newcastle, including the world premieres of Green Fingers by Michael Wilcox, and Going Home by Alan Plater. For Live Theatre he designed Long Shaddows and the recent revival of Close The Coalhouse Door. Work in London has included a number of productions for The Kings Head Theatre, most recently, Under Their Mats, which has also been seen at the Thorndike Theatre, Leatherhead, and, currently, Stairway to Heaven, a new musical version of the classic film, A Matter of Life and Death.
Nigel designed Liberty Oregon for Foothold Theatre Co. at the Man in the Moon Theatre, which was revived, to great critical acclaim at the Traverse for this year’s Edinburgh Festival. West End credits include Spread a Little Happiness at the Whitehall Theatre, Philadelphia Here I Come at Wyndhams, and Elegies at The Criterion. Babes in the Wood will be Nigel’s fourth visit to the King’s.
Cameron Crosby – Sound Designer
Cameron Crosby entered the entertainment industry in 1971 when he started work as a day man at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh and was soon working for the electrics department. In 1972 after moving to the Traverse Theatre and dealing with wounds as well as lighting design, he discovered that it was the sound side that interested him most.
Since then he has mixed for live concerts, television dramas and music-based theatrical events.
He has designed and mixed sound for Placido Domingo, The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Dudley Moore, The BBC Radio Orchestra and The New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra as well as television shows such as Brond (Channel 4), Halfway to Paradise, The Big Day and Dr Finlay for STV.
Denis Agnew – Fight Director
Trained as an actor at R.S.A.M.D. and has worked extensively in theatre, TV and Film both as actor and Fight Director.
Theatre includes productions for: Liverpool Playhouse, Glasgow Citizens, Royal Lyceum, Traverse, Royal Court, Bristol Old Vic, The Tron, Mussleburgh, East 15 York, Scottish Ballet, Perth Rep, Scottish Theatre Borderline, Belgrade Theatre, Ayr Gaiety, TAG, Theatre Workshop. King’s Glasgow Babes in the Wood is the 3rd production for King’s Edinburgh.
TV includes: Taggart, Between The Covers, A Man for all Seasons, Sea view, Maggie, A Master of Innocence, Souls Dark night. Ruffian Hearts.
Films include: Hit, Frankenstein Revisited, A Case for Concern.
Teaching includes: Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Dance School of Scotland, Scottish Ballet’s Steps Out, Scottish Student Drama Festival, Scottish Youth Theatre and residences for East Kilbride Class Action, Strathclyde Regional Council World of Choice, Action Factory and physical theatre workshops for school’s all over the country.
Alex Blyth – Technical Manager
Alex was born in Edinburgh and on leaving school he started work as an apprentice joiner. In 1960 he joined Howard and Wyndham as a scenic carpenter working on the ever popular Five Past Eight Show and the fabulous Starlight Room productions in the Alhambra, Glasgow. Alex has been in the building of most pantomimes in the King’s Theatre since 1960, first as Scenic Carpenter, then as Master Carpenter and now as Production Supervisor. He has also provided technical advice to other District Council projects such as the highly successful Emperor’s Warrior’s and the Gold of the Pharaohs exhibitions in the City Art Centre.
Michael Kerr – Company Manager
Michael was born and educated in Edinburgh and began working in theatre as a lighting technician here at the King’s Theatre. Following training in Stage Management at L.A.M.D.A. he has worked in theatre throughout Scotland.
Michael has just completed his third season as Stage Manager at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre and is happy to be back at the King’s Theatre for his twelfth pantomime.
Ludo Wynn – Deputy Stage Manager
Ludo started working in theatre at the age of 17 as a stagehand at The King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. Two years later he went to study stage management at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, graduating in 1989 with The Alex McCrindle Trophy for Stage Management. Since then he has gone on to work with a number of theatre companies.
In 1994 he toured with Rowan Tolley Mime, Winged Horse Touring, Scottish Opera for All and Jazz Art UK a new dance company based in Edinburgh. He also worked with Hunky Dory productions, and has just finished working on Bill Bryden’s The Big Picnic for Promenade Productions.
This is Ludo’s fourth consecutive panto as DSM for The King’s Theatre.
Angrew Ogilvie – Assistant Stage Manager
George missed last year’s pantomime through working in the West End at the Comedy Theatre on Naruins Room and touring Wildthings for Salisbury Playhouse/Paines Plough. This year has included work on Taming of the Shrew, Ludlow Festival, Ennio Marchetto, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and he has recently finished working for The Royal Court Theatre’s Young Writers Festival which toured northern Ireland with Coming on Strong. This is George’s fourth pantomime as ASM and he’s looking forward to a happy and enjoyable run.