The Verdict: Dame Berwick Kaler’s Grand Exit After 40 Years Of York Pantomimes



By Charles Hutchinson in The Press.


It began as a celebration of 40 years of the Grand Old Dame of York, and it still is, but York’s favourite adopted son from Sunderland has now called time on pantomime at 72, and so the impromptu standing ovation for Berwick Kaler was inevitably suffused with sadness too.

Ever the ground-breaking pantomime writer, the dowager dame chose to mark his ruby anniversary by coming up with an entirely new panto, a challenge that he took to the wire in delivering the script as rehearsals progressed, albeit built around the familiar structure: brisk opening songs to each half; introductions; “plot development”; villain’s grandstanding entrance; rocking chair scene; slapstick scene; the “filum”; villain’s fall; shout-outs and song sheet; thank you and goodnight


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