Staff and volunteers at Worcester Live were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Cecil Duckworth, he was a great supporter of the arts and culture in the city and we shall miss him at our productions in the future. Our thoughts are with his family. This time last year would have been the first week of pantomime rehearsals for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Normally the Swan Theatre would be filled with the wonderful Worcester Rep pantomime cast, who each bring with them energy, enthusiasm and zest for life like no other type of person. The theatre comes alive when a cast comes to stay and the Swan’s staff becomes an extended family for that period of time. Usually around every nook and corner of the of the building parts of the cast would be found rehearsing scenes, normally with much hilarity or learning the dances, with much exhaustion, perfecting songs with extreme enjoyment or learning lines quietly, which in some cases are never learnt even when the pantomime is being performed (you know who you are!)

Juvenile dancers arrive after school and the whole show begins to develop before our eyes. There would be hustle, action and activity across the production department as our staff work for the week to transform the stage with additional lighting, staging and sound equipment to complete the transformation to panto-land, whilst our wardrobe department sits for hours creating costumes for the whole cast.

The building gets taken over and it is pure panto chaos and it is wonderful! Instead I face an empty stage, a closed building, staff working from home and we have no pantomime cast coming to town. Sad, quiet times, a different Christmas for the Swan Theatre this year.