Swansea Snapshot!

The Swansea Grand Theatre has a long tradition of presenting pantomime. UK Productions are currently presenting pantomime at this historic venue, and here at IBY we thought we would include a few memories of the Pantomimes at the "Grand".

Vivyan Ellacott (Nigel's brother) was the Theatre Manager of Swansea during some of these pantomimes. The Administrator and director was John Chilvers. During this period the pantomimes would open on Boxing Day, and often run through into the second week of March- almost up to Easter.

John Chilvers and the auditorium


John Chilvers MBE (1920-2008)

It is with deep sadness we report the death of John Chilvers at the age of 88 – obituaries and full details of the funeral celebration are now contained in a dedicated page.

Nigel Ellacott spent a lot of his childhood backstage at "The Grand", and his earliest memories are the pantomimes- starring artistes like Marty Wilde, Clive Dunn, Reg Dixon, Freddie Lees, Anne Aston, Stan Stennett, Ryan & Ronnie, Glyn Houston.. We include a very small collection of photographs and memories of "The Grand". Since we published the original article, we have been contacted by Freddie Lees who has supplied us with a host of pictures to add to this article and we are very grateful to him for this new additions. We have also worked on the listings for the pantomimes under the John Chilver's regime and hope to enhance this with more pictures and playbills over time.

Ian Parsons has written a book 'Swansea's Grand' and was very helpful with information and photos for our article. More information about the book, and how to order a copy can be obtained on the website www.swanseasgrand.co.uk

Robinson Crusoe 1897-1898

27th Dec 1897 - 15th Jan 1898


Tom Fancourt, Alice Dewent, Alice Percival, Maude Bowden, Ethel Netherton, A. Ouston, Jenny Ruby, Ralph Foster, Ellis Oglivie

James Russell, The Sisters Emerald, Alec Darwen, H. Wright


Blue Beard 1898-99

26th Dec 1898 - 14th Jan 1899

Flo Varley, Nellie Merton , Steve Cooke , John Cooper, Miss Annie Hathaway, Will White , Mr Ryder, Mr Leslie Clare , George Rydon , Wilford and Willie , George Harker ,

Primrose Ballet Troupe , The Sisters Langley , The Sisters Valerie , Miss Clements , Robert Imden , Minnie Loveday


Cinderella 1900

8th - 20th Jan 1900

Harry Karr , Walter Kooney , Four High Kicking Somersaulters , Ada Shirley , Doris Leslie , Maud Lascelles , Fanny Homer , Madge Lascelles , Hetty Russell , Mary Manners , Lydia Cosman , Jeanie Thomas , Lucy Charnley , Flo Preddy , Nina Lascelles , Ada Vestrais , Charles Linden , George Cosman , Annie Charnley , Edith Lyddon , Florrie Rosina (plays a number of musical instruments), Amandus, Excelsior Quartette

1901 - No Pantomime


Cinderella 1902

27th Jan - 8th Feb 1902


Marian Ayling, Addie Love, Tilly Vaughan, Georgina Leonard, Frank Dunlop, J.W. Baxter, Arthur Godfrey, Hettie Letch, Minnie Duncan,

John Tiller's Troupe of Lady Dancers, The Eight Little Wonders, Leo Stirling's Musical Speciality Act


1903 - No Pantomime


Bluebell in Fairyland 1904

18th - 23rd Jan 1904


Rosadie Jacobi, Daisy Markham, Minnie Mace, May Lawrence, Harry Herbert, Robert Milstead, Harry Bruce, Harry Douglas

Julia Yivers


Sinbad 1905

16th - 21st Jan 1905


Florence Dillion, Ann Brenan, Laura Humphreys, Stephen Fitzgerald, J.R. Val, A. Murray, Denby and Dent

Carlyle's Spanish Whirlwind Dancers


Cinderella and The Glass Slipper 1906

29th Jan - 10th Feb 1906


Cissy Wade, Mary Sadie, King and Delane, Mayer and Bode, Denby and Dent, Laura Humpreys, Stephen Fitzgerald

Cissy Hilton, Frank Thatcher


Little Red Riding Hood 1907

21st Jan - 2nd Feb 1907


Ella Willmer, Beatrice Varley, Fay Desmond


Robinson Crusoe 1908

20th - 25th Jan 1908


Madelaine Du Val, Maggie Allwood, John Thompson, Billy Bracey, Gymnasts


Babes in the Wood 1909

8th - 13th Feb 1909


Irene Damdeoa, John Richards, Turners Tropical Still Pictures


No Pantomime 1910


Cinderella 1911

23rd - 28th Jan 1911


Barry Howard, Dorothy Clark, Kitty Douglas, Damerell, Rutland and Cinda, Maria Ault, Miss B. Cadman, J.W. Hooper, A. Patterson, H. St John


Aladdin 1912

22nd Jan - 3rd Feb 1912


Daisy Hurdle, Leonard Teel, Hettie Critchley, Iris Vaughan, Vera Lennie, Marie Gilbert


Mother Goose 1913

13th - 18th Jan 1913


Nellie Le Breton, Gladys Johnson, Mr C. Henry, Reg London, William H. Wright, Nellie James, Hal Lester, Nellie James,

Milton Brothers, The Three Jewells, The London Chorus and Ballet


Babes in the Wood 1914

12th - 17th Jan 1914


Olive Sparke, Kathleen Severn, Dorothy Edwards, Lydia Williams, Alan Kennedy, Preston and Copper

Glanroy Troupe, S. Holden


Aladdin 1915

1st - 6th Feb 1915


Lillie Lassali, Billy Evelyn, Gertie Orchard, Will Judge, Mr G. Stoney, Sisters Oxley, Hartley and Mellor


Cinderella 1916

17th - 29th Jan 1916


Mr B. Noel, Mr H. Barnett, Minnie Rayner, Maud Diamond, Mr and Mrs B. Charles, The Six Merry Mac's


Dick Whittington 1917

15th - 20th Jan 1917


R. Muray, Miss Ena Lestrange, Mr B.N. Alford, Mr H. Talbot, Mr C. Gardener, Rency and Dare


Babes in the Wood 1918

14th - 19th Jan 1918


Miss Tina Frank, Miss May Romayne, Frank Hood, Mr H. Benett, Mr G. Aspin


Humpty Dumpty 1919

20th - 25th Jan 1919


Pauline Gilmer, Dot Eden, C.Goff, Courtney and Dixon, E. Kipling, D. Kelsey


Cinderella 1920

12th -24th Jan 1920


Frank Leigh, Lorna Cherry, Evelyn Grace, Frank Johns, Pauline Rivers, Scholey and Scholey, The Blossoms


Dick Whittington 1921

24th Jan - 5th Feb 1921


Ada Wise, Frank Leigh


Babes in the Wood 1922

30th Jan - 11th Feb 1922


Ada Wise, Willie Cave, Kenna Brothers, Little Pearl and May, The Pony Quartet, Aeroplane Stunt


Cinderella 1923

22nd Jan - 3rd Feb 1923

Nita Jarche, Lorna Cherry, Kitty and Olga Sherry, Vanda Rees, Daisy Bartholomew, The Dainty Danes, Queenie Edwards

Tom Wiles, Leonard Holford, Brocks Cycling Maniacs, Talberto and Douglas, Jack Murray, Jack Roya, Syd Christo

London Welsh Quartette, Fred Astley's Beautiful Ponies


Jack and the Beanstalk 1924

21st Jan - 2nd Feb 1924


Dorothy Brett, Miss Tomlins, Lester Holwood, Fred Hutchings


Robinson Crusoe 1925

19th - 31st Jan 1925


Leon Salbury and George Slater's Company, Val Edwards, Madame Tardy Thomas, Linfield Troupe, Romany Singers, Lyceum Juveniles,

The Hal Edwards Musical Comedy Girls


Aladdin 1926

18th - 30th Jan 1926


Bert Symes, Gwen Highley, Jay Highley, Rosina May, Simple and Smart, Koppah and Sloppah


Dick Whittington 1926 - 27

26th Dec 1926 - 8th Jan 1927

Gloria Gay, Nellie Ryan, Harry Gilmore, Charles Harvard, Wal Watson, Ivy Raymond, Archie Wallen


From The Stage - 6th Jan 1927


Cinderella 1927-28

26th Dec 1927 - 7th Jan 1928


Eva Renee, Ray Rayson, Billy Royll, Doris Pearce, Lily Rose, Zoie Sheld, Walter Cranbury, The Dinkie Ducklings, The Willenors


Aladdin 1928-29

26th Dec 1928 - 5th Jan 1929


Renda Rudd, Bessie Evans, Zena Carol, Billy Revell, Bobbie Hall, The Ventons, The Zeimar Brothers, The Chinese Chicklets


Cinderella 1929-30

30th Dec 1929 - 11th Jan 1930


Tom Dixon, Angela Guilberte, Broadway Girls, Doris Tilly, Nell Campbell, Roy Walters


Jack and the Beanstalk 1931

5th Jan 1931 - 17th Jan 1931


Edward Houghton, Maisie Griffiths, Hazel Glenn, Archie Wallen, Betty Millar, Gene Durham, Smarte Brothers Clowns, Dame Halleybutt's Choir


No Details 1931-32


Puss in Boots 1932-33

26th Dec 1932 - 7th Jan 1933

Billy Barr, Eileen Merrie, Betty Millar, Shaun Desmond, Pat Walcott, Oliver and Proctor, Joe Somers and Johnny Fell


Babes in the Wood 1933-34

23rd Dec 1933 - 12th Jan 1934


Eileen Merrie, Rita Kerva, Rene and June Gray, Cecil Roche, Irene Walters, Shaun Desmond, Mary E. Wilkins

Charles Stevens, Fred Weedon, Fred Sylvester and his Nephews, The Ten Riviera Girls, The Twelve Kittnes, Arley Sisters, Rosa Langue


From 1934 - 1946 there were no pantomimes

as the theatre was used as a cinema.


Babes in the Wood 1947 - 48

26th Dec 1947 - 6th Mar 1948


Gus Elton,  Jack Noyes,  Irene Mansel, Joan Macfarlane (Scottish Dancer), Clifton James, Zoe Wheeler, Sheila Money, Betty Long, Bobbie Pattison, Doreen Richards, Joyce Randall, Joey Hopkinson, Jimmy Currie’s Waterfalls (his equipment weighed 15 tonnes and used 2000 gallons of water every minute), Bob Bemand and His Comedy Pigeons, Dom and Josie and their Accordions, The Winstanley Babes and The John-Joyce Girls

Dick Whittington 1948-49

18th Dec 1948 - 4th Feb 1949

Avril Vane, Bobby Vernon, Jack Noyes, Dorothy Lorraine, Winstanley Babes, The Three Ricordis, Swan and Leigh, Teddy Knox

Miss Malta and Company, Dresser and Dale, Melville Birley, Bobby Pattison, Charles Regan, Irma Hanson, Derrick Kaye

The Paramount Girls, Edward Wood, Desmond Dale, Joe Dresser, Horace Horner


Aladdin 1949-50

24th Dec 1949 - 21st Jan 1950


Eleanor Drew, Wilfrid Brambell, Jackie Lester, Pamela Reed, Antonia Pemberton, Paul Lee, Harry Davies


Red Riding Hood 1950-51

26th Dec 1950 - 2nd Mar 1951

Maudie Edwards, Ossie Morris, Stan Stennett, Mary Sullivan, Fairies Snowflakes, Royston Smith, Frank James, Rita Page

Maurice Keary, The Welcome Singers, Marianne James, Teresa Waters, Gordon Caddy


Cinderella 1951-52

15th Dec 1951 - 16th Feb 1952


Gladys Morgan, Joan Laurie, Wyn Calvin, Eddie Connor, Sylvia and Doreen Stephens (Accordian Act), Bert Cecil, Frank Laurie


Mother Goose 1952-53

26th Dec 1952 - 7th Feb 1953

 Maudie Edwards, Ossie Morris, Olivia Jevons, Cera Cody with her live Horses, Marionettes


Goldilocks and the Three Live Bears 1953-54

26th Dec 1953 - 13th Feb 1954


Cyril Dowler, Rhoda Rogers, Marcia Owen, Hilda Heath, Norman McGlenn, Roulette Dancers, James, Bessa & Strike (The Three Live Bears - trained by Hans Peterson)


Little Bo Peep and her Live Sheep 1954-55

26th Dec 1954 - 19th Feb 1955


Cyril Dowler, Rhoda Rogers, Joy Royston, Julia, Nellie & Billy (The Three Live Sheep), Silly and Billy (Clowns), Waltzing Waters of Fairyland


The Little Old Woman Who Lived in a Show 1955-56

26th Dec 1955 - 11th Feb 1956


Cyril Dowler, Rita Page, Rhoda Rogers, Monica Wood, Billy Shenton, Campbell and Rogerson, Magyar Ballet

The Singing Songsters, Ida Rossaire's Perky Pekes


Sleeping Beauty 1956-57

26th Dec 1956 - 2nd Feb 1957

Cyril Dowler, Joe O'Gorman, Phyllis Bartell, Angela Scott, Bourne & Barbara, May Warden, La Petite Poupee, Larry Gordon's TV Toppers,

Len Trevor, Bobby Gordon's London Babes, Sam Winfield & Company, Billy Knight, Stanley Massey


Cinderella 1957-58

Supplied by, and used with permission of, Freddie Lees


Aladdin 1958-59

13th Dec 1958- 14th Feb 1959

This poster is displayed in the dressing room corridors of the Grand Theatre, Swansea - photo taken by our webmaster!


Staged by Elkan and Barry Simons, Choreography by Robert Marlowe, Produced and Directed by Barry Simons

Starring Ossie Morris, Allan Wells, John Cartier, Lynn Hughes, Reginald Vincent, Robert Marlowe, Helen Du Toit, Flip & Bobi Roberts, Barbara Willoughby, Phyllis Jones Swansea Babes, The Robertis


Mother Goose 1959-60

12th Dec 1959 - 20thFeb 1960


Stan Stennett, Sylvia Norman, Eddie Henderson, Tony Snape, Alan Taylor


Jack and the Beanstalk 1960-61

10th Dec 1960 - 28th Jan 1961


Wyn Calvin, George Bolton, Rex Rashley, Haval and Byl, Alan Wells, Yvoe Marlow, Sylvia Norman, The Five Romas, Eddie Fields, Tom Kyffin

Elizabeth Richards, The Corps de Ballet, Phyllis Jones Juveniles


Babes in the Wood 1961-62

16th Dec 1961- 24th Feb 1962

This poster is displayed in the dressing room corridors of the Grand Theatre, Swansea - photo taken by our webmaster!


starring Kenneth Earle, Malcolm Vaughan, Phyllis Mellor, Stan Sanders, Howell Evans & Pat Evans, Ossie Morris and the Karl Heinz Chimpanzees with Barbara.


Dick Whittington 1962-63

22nd Dec 1962-16th Feb 1963

John Chilver's First Pantomime for the Grand

This poster is displayed in the dressing room corridors of the Grand Theatre, Swansea - photo taken by our webmaster!

Photo supplied by, and used with permission of, Freddie Lees and John Chilvers


Johnny Stewart, Sylvia Norman, Peter Boyce, Jill Alison, Reginald Vincent, Linda Lee, Ted Gatty, Pat Somers (Tommy The Cat). Pat Somers became ill with bronchitis during the run, and was replaced for a week, at short notice by Johnny Stewart's wife Pat, The Three Lesters, Trio Vitalites, The Lynvettes, Nico & Co, 12 Jack Horton Dancers, Phyllis Jones's Swansea Babes

Cinderella 1963 - 64

14th Dec 1963-22nd Jan 1964


Johnny Stewart, Johnny De Little, Sian Hopkins, Grande & Mars, Jonathan Prince, Brian Freeman & Monty Bond (Acrobats), Debbie Dean, Wendy Roberts

Aladdin 1964 - 65

12th Dec 1964-27th Feb 1965

This poster is displayed in the dressing room corridors of the Grand Theatre, Swansea - photo taken by our webmaster!

Photo supplied by, and used with permission of, Freddie Lees and John Chilvers


Vince Eager, Duggie Clark, Alan Wells, Emerson and Jayne (Magic Carpet Speciality), Lynton Boys (Chinese Policemen), Lesley King, Hymas & Cece (Celia & Johnny Hymans), Frank Ellis, Cherry Willoughby Dancers, Jonathan Prince

Click on Image to Enlarge

From The Stage - 7th Jan 1965


Puss in Boots 1965 - 66


Jess Conrad (Jack), Colin Fleming (Mayor), Jennifer Creighton (Princess Jill), Gary Grande (Queen Gertrude), David Mars (King Herbert), Keith Harris (Puss), Andrea Thorner, Brian Burdon, Peter Thorne, The Cherry Willoughby Dancers


Photo supplied by, and used with permission of, Freddie Lees and John Chilvers

Jess Conrad as Jack


From The Stage - 6th Jan 1966


Robin Hood 1966 - 67

Photo supplied by, and used with permission of, Freddie Lees and John Chilvers

Centre is Marty Wilde as Robin, with Ivor Owen as Nurse Glucose. Danny O'Dea (later "Last of The Summer Wine" is next to John Chilvers. George Truzzi is to the left of the Dame, Joyce Baker (Wilde) as Maid Marion is next to Marty. Peter Thorne is in the second row 4th from left. It also featured John Hay as Alan-a-Dale, Peter Tracey as Will Scarlett, Bud Smart as Friar Tuck, Maralynn Burt, Rosemary Faith and Jennifer Haley.

Click on the following images to enlarge


Marty Wilde and Joyce Baker

Photo supplied by, and used with permission of, Peter Thorne


From The Stage - 5th Jan 1967

Dick Whittington 1967 - 68


Photo supplied by, and used with permission of, Freddie Lees and John Chilvers

Johnny DeLittle (Centre in the brocade tunic). To the left of Johnny is Berwick Kaler, and the Dame is Tommy Rose.


Dick Whittington - Johnny DeLittle, Bob Denzar as Alderman Fitzwarren & Gordon Pleasant as Emperor- Together they were the speciality act Du-Marte & Denzar with "Skeletons Alive!".

Alice Fitzwarren - Roz Early, Idle Jack was Peter Kaye, Tommy Rose as Martha The Cook, Sandra Wells as Tommy The Cat. Berwick Kaler as King Rat, the Manetti Twins as Captain & Mate, Sula Cartier as Fairy BowBells and Princess Almedia.

Berwick Kaler is currently starring at York each year as Dame.

Jack and the Beanstalk 1968 - 69

This poster is displayed in the dressing room corridors of the Grand Theatre, Swansea - photo taken by our webmaster!

The photograph shows the cast on the last night:

Centre -Wayne Fontana as Jack, with Sian Hopkins as Princess Sylvia. Dame Durden is Trevor Moreton and Roy Lance (right of Sian Hopkins) as Simple Simon. The cast included Jonathan Prince (King Hearty), Jean & Peter Barbour as Spite & Blunderbore, Sandra Wrennall as Fairy and the Harmon Brothers (Later to become The Chuckle Brothers) as Village Policemen AND Daisy the Cow! Paul & Barry (Chuckle) Harmon can be seen 4th from left and 4th from the right.


The 14 Cherry Willoughby Dancers were Margaret Vale, Jackie Bowden, Margaret Burn, Vivien Chapman, Lesley Dennis, Lynn Dubarry, Annette Helson, Carol Michelle, Dimity Newland, Helen Newson, Sandy Simone, Carol Sinclair, Pamela Vale and Elaine Wray.


The pantomime ran from Boxing day 1968 through until March 1969.


Directed by John Chilvers.


From The Stage - 9th Jan 1969


We've been contacted by Sue Barbour who was in this pantomime with her parents Jean and Peter - here's what she had to say:-

Just thought I'd mention that I was in Jack and the Beanstalk with my parents. I'm on the end, back right in the photos. It's great that you have named all the dancers as I'd forgotten some of their names and we had such a great time that Christmas. There was a big snow storm one day. Peter (my dad) had been mending props in the theatre and came rushing back to Dunvant, where we had rented a house and told us to hurry as the snow was falling thick and fast. We paid a taxi £5 to lead us through a factory yard as the roads were blocked with vehicles stuck in the snow. Jeff Hanlon (Wayne's Roadie) ended up having to do the first 'Fe Fi Fo Fum' on the off stage mike as my mum, dad and I were stuck in snow and missed the opening 5 minutes. As we rushed in through the Stage Door, all we could hear was a Mancunian Accented 'Fe Fi Fo Fum'. My mum put her witches cloak, wig and hat on and rushed on to do her bit. Most of the Musicians were missing and most of the Audience!


Robinson Crusoe 1969 - 70


Looking at the photograph:

In the centre is the star of the show- STAN STENNETT, (MBE) with “Bonzo” the Dog.

Stan created a double act- in Pantomime it was always “Billy and Bonzo meet….Robinson Crusoe”, or “Mother Goose”, or “Aladdin” as the title. Stan has enjoyed an enormous career in theatre, cabaret, radio and television, as well as presenting his own shows and pantomimes. He became resident comedian on the radio show “Welsh Raebit” shortly after the War, and he starred in Televisions “Black and White Minstrel Show” from 1959 for seven years, appearances in Coronation Street, Casualty and became a familiar face to millions appearing in ATV’s “Crossroads” as Sid Hooper, the garage owner. Born in 1925 Stan still performs and presents pantomimes in his native Wales- he was most recently at the St.David’s Hall Cardiff.

To the right of Stan is the administrator and Director JOHN CHILVERS, with JOHNNY WORTHY to the right of John. Johnny played “Man Friday”, and would go on to appear in the West End in the “Showboat” revival at the Adelphi Theatre in 1971 alongside Cleo Laine and Lorna Dallas and Jan Hunt. Johnny choreographs and directs pantomimes each year.

Also in the photograph is JOHNNY TUDOR as Robinson Crusoe, with Ronné Coyles to the right of Johnny as Mrs. Crusoe.

Johnny Tudor, Cardiff born entertainer and impressionist has had a career in television, theatre and cabaret. An Opportunity Knocks winner, he appeared in the West End in a musical called “Cindy”, and again in “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum” during the mid 1960’s. He  had his own series on Welsh Television, and has appeared a great many times with Stan Stennett in pantomimes.

Ronné Coyles has enjoyed an extraordinary lengthy career as an entertainer and pantomime Dame, and appears each year in panto.  He started at an early age  in concert party, as a boy soprano, and during his career has been a trapeze artiste, acrobatic dancer, singer, and one of the most superb tap dancers in the country. He appeared with “The Crazy Gang” at the Victoria Palace London as a young man, and appeared in several films for Ealing Studios. He has enjoyed lengthy Summer Seasons around the country- especially his long term residency at Southport.

His Dame’s “Strip” speciality is one of the cleverest and slickest routines- a lightening quick change performed in front of the audience that owes its skill to a combination of Magic Trick and sheer artistry! He played London’s Dominion Theatre as Dame in “Humpty Dumpty”, and appears regularly in pantomimes today with Keith Harris.

IAIN SINCLAIR played Will Atkins. Other than acting as a career, Iain Sinclair was also a lecturer and an author. Iain was his stage name. His  actual title was Sir John Sinclair, Bt. He was the brother of Baroness Masham, the youngest woman to become a life peeress. She entered the house of Lords in the spring of 1970. Her brother was unable to attend, as he was performing in the Swansea Panto!

Next to Ronne is EDDIE FALCON- his partner EILEEN can be seen second from the right, next to King Neptune. Eddie & Eileen were the variety double act THE FALCONS.- as Captain and Mate.

The Principal Girl was  ANGELA BARCLAY as Polly Perkins, with GARY ALLEN as Davy Jones, DAVID EVANS as Salty Sam, and JUDY FIELDER as Fairy Seafoam.

The speciality that year was CURRIE’S WALTZING WATERS.

The back row, extreme right can be seen VIVYAN ELLACOTT (Theatre Manager) and CON MURPHY, resident Stage Manager.

CHERRY WILLOUGHBY was the choreographer.

MEURIG JAMES was the Musical Director, MARY JAMES in charge of Wardrobe.

For a brief while the role of  Robinson Crusoe was played not by Johnny Tudor, but, struck down by the flu epidemic that raged over the UK, by a female Principal Boy- MARGARET BURN. (One of the Cherry Willoughby Dancers).

This was the first pantomime at “The Grand” under the new Civic Management.

The photograph show Currie’s Waltzing waters speciality being prepared by Barrie Henderson (Left) and Con Murphy (Right).


from l to r - Stan Stennett, Ronné Coyles, Sir Iain Sinclair, 'The Falcons' (Eileen & Eddie Falcon)


from l to r - Johnny Worthy, Stan Stennett, The Falcons' (Eileen & Eddie Falcon) /  Johnny Tudor and Johnny Worthy



From The Stage - 8th Jan 1970


Puss in Boots 1970 - 71

This poster is displayed in the dressing room corridors of the Grand Theatre, Swansea - photo taken by our webmaster!

Photo supplied by, and used with permission of, Freddie Lees and John Chilvers


Derek Roy as Dame. (The Queen) with Danny O'Dea as King. Centre in the picture is Barry Hopkins as Colin, Puss played by Mike Fields, Fairy Godmother Vivienne Black, Colin Cresswell as The Wicked Wizard, George McLaren as The Witch, The Simmons Brothers (Alan & Keith) as The Miller's Men, and Dave Swan played Simon, Cindy Williams as Princess (Dave and Cindy were married in real life) and Pavlov's Puppets.

From The Stage - 21st Jan 1971


Aladdin 1971 - 72

The photograph shows the cast of “Aladdin”.

Centre is Barry Hopkins (Aladdin) to the right Reg (“Confidentially”) Dixon as Widow Twankey. Next to him is John Chilvers, the Director  and Administrator.

To the right of Barry Hopkins is Nicky Stevens (Later to become part of the Eurovision groupBrotherhood of Man”) as Princess Balroubadour. Noel Talbot played Wishee Washee. (Next to Nicky Stevens, 6th from left).

Liverpool 60’s pop group “The Fouremost” were Chinese Policemen, with a magic speciality by Anna-Lou & Maria. Abanazar was played by Colin Cresswell, with  Jonathan Blake, Anne Rutherford and Francis Mortimer.

To the extreme right of the photograph (Ist row) is Con Murphy the Stage Manager, and extreme right 2nd row Vivyan Ellacott, the Theatre Manager.

See also item on Noel Talbot & the Energy Crisis (as reported by Vivyan Ellacott in 1972)

Click on Images to Enlarge


From The Stage - 20th Jan 1972


Cinderella 1972 - 73


Photo supplied by, and used with permission of, Freddie Lees and John Chilvers


In the photograph : Suzanna Page played Cinderella. To the right of Suzanna are Ryan & Ronnie-The Broker's Men, with John Chilvers between them.

To the Right of Ronnie Williams is Jonty Miller as Dandini, Selena Lauder as Fairy Godmother, and Stan McGowan as Major Domo

To the left of Suzanna is Ian Calvin as Prince Charming and Gary Grande and David Mars as The Ugly Sisters with Desmond King (to their left) as Buttons. Hugo Myatt as Baron Hardup.

The Musical Director was Meurig James (He was MD on the John Chilvers Pantomime Seasons every year) and The Choreographer Cherry Willoughby.

Dick Whittington 1973 - 74


Photo supplied by, and used with permission of, Freddie Lees and John Chilvers


Ryan & Ronnie, as Captain & Mate, Bryn Williams as Fitzwarren, and Clifford Henry as Fanny The Cook. Terry Doogan was Tommy The Cat, Barry Dean as Dick Whittington, with Fernand Monast as King Rat, Jill Fitzjohn as Fairy Bowbell, Paul & Danny Denver, Gaynor Williams as Alice and Raymond Harris as Town Crier.


From The Stage - 10th Jan 1974


Mother Goose 1974 - 75

26th Dec 1974 - 15th Mar 1975


Photo supplied by, and used with permission of, Freddie Lees and John Chilvers


Ryan Williams as Mother Goose, with Alison Temple Savage, Myran Brook, Bryn Williams, Alita Petrof, Roger Howlett, Kevin Darby, Manoff Puppets, Calli, Timothy Wales, Shaun Johnstone, Iain Parkinson, Pam Annets, Yvonne Beattie, Marylin Cole, Heidi Cook, Sandra Griffiths, Rhonda Hagland, Maria Mann, June Vernon, Linda Warr, Linda Wiggins, Cherry Willoughby Dancers


From The Stage - 16th Jan 1975


Jack and the Beanstalk 1975 - 76


Jack & The Beanstalk” opened on Boxing Day 1975, and ran until March 13th 1976.

The pantomime, directed by John Chilvers starred Ryan and Freddie Lees.

RYAN played Simple Simon.

A Welsh comedy Legend, Ryan Davies was a television star who, with his comedy partner Ronnie Williams  took their Welsh Television series across the border and into national TV. The show was a sketch format, and the most popular section featured “Our House”, a sit com with Ryan as “Mam”, Ronnie as his son Nigel Wyn, and Myffanwy Talog as Phyllis Doris, the daughter.

Ryan and Ronnie appeared in cabaret, made recordings, and frequently played pantomime at the Grand Theatre Swansea. Ryan Davies appeared in the film of Dylan Thomas’s “Under Milk Wood” playing alongside Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.

When their comic partnership ended, and Ronnie retired, Ryan continued a solo career. After his death a memorial was unveiled at the Grand Theatre.

According to the Stage Review Ryan was struck down by Bronchial Asthma just prior to opening and his part was taken by GORDON PETERS. We don't know how long Ryan was out of the show.

FREDDIE LEES played Dame Durden. One of the most popular Dames to play Swansea, Freddie often made guest appearances in the repertory company during the season, as well as appearing frequently in the West End and on tour. His West End appearances included “The Mousetrap”, “Norman, Is That You?” with Harry Worth, “Oliver”, as Mr Sowerbury, and most recently as the Toymaker in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at The London Palladium.

BRYAN EVANS played Jack. Swansea born, he had toured extensively in the rock musical “Hair”, “Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, and had a recording contract.

JUNE & PAUL KIDD played “Daisy The Cow,  and Paul played Giant Blunderbore. Experienced Animal impersonators, and played everything from Elephants, Horses  and Cows in pantomimes throughout the country. Paul Kidd also specialised in Stilt Work, and played The Giant frequently.

GOLDEN BRANDY played the villagers (supplemented by the dancers, choreographed by Cherry Willoughby). Jacqui, Tim and Wendy were a brother and sister act. Their father was the magician and “pickpocket” specialist Mark Raffles.

KAY COLEMAN played Princess Sylvie, GEOFFREY BRIGHTMAN played King Hearty, and BEVERLEY KAY was The Beanstalk Fairy. The cast also included Ben Tabiner, Clive Aiden, Steve Aliffe, Dave De La Mere, Andy Barker, Pam Annets, Yvonne Beattie. Rhonda Hagland, Gaynor MacCauley, Maria Mann, Pamela Michelle, Paula Simpson, June Vernon and Amanda White.

In the photograph John Chilvers is seen between Freddie Lees and Ryan Davies. Kay Coleman is centre, with Bryan Evans on the right. Next to Brian is Beverley Kay, and Tim (Raffles) to the right of Beverley.


From The Stage - 15th Jan 1976


Babes in the Wood 1976 - 77

Opened on December 27th 1976, and ran until March 19th 1977


Ryan, Glyn Houston, Barry Hopkins, Golden Brandy, Roger Tolliday, Elaine Gibbs, Ben Tabiner, Gaynor MacCauley, Mark Wilson, Geoffrey Brightman,

Robert Howie, Andy Barker, Karen Williams, Michael Condon, Dave De La Mere, Geoffrey Beaumont


From The Stage - 13th Jan 1977


David Kidd (Lighting Designer), Mike Griffiths (Chief LX), Con Murphy (Stage Manager)


Cinderella 1977 - 78

26th Dec 1977 - 18th Mar 1978


Photo supplied by, and used with permission of, Freddie Lees and John Chilvers


Clive Dunn as Buttons in Cinderella. Cinderella was played by Debbie Young, the Ugly Sisters Burdon & Moran. Bryn Williams as Baron Hardup.

Peter Sandeman (now running the City Varieties, Leeds) is at the far right of the second picture. Roger Tolliday, Jingles (Musical Group).

Frank Leyton as Prince Charming, Nicholas Wakeham as Dandini, Steve Whatley and Steve Lee Wilson (Footmen and Daisy the Cow)

Edmund Christopher and Julian Ashton (Broker's Men), Mandy Memetrious (Fairy Godmother).

Cherry Willoughby Dancers, Phyllis Jones' Swansea Babes

Clive Dunn was born on 9th January 1920 in London; his cousin was Gretchen Franklin who played Ethel skinner in Eastenders. He was a POW in Austria for 4 years during the Second World War. His most famous role was that of Corporal Jones on the BBC series "Dad's Army" (1968). His character in "Dad's Army", Corporal Jones was based on a real life character. He also had a Number One hit with ‘Grandad ’. It topped the British charts in the late 70s and was used in his TV show of the same name. It remained in the charts for a full 27 weeks. In 1975 he was awarded an O.B.E. (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to drama.

From The Stage - 12th Jan 1978


Aladdin 1978 - 79

26th Dec 1978 - 10th Mar 1979


Anne Aston, Ivor Emmanuel, Freddie Lees, Kenny Smiles, Nicholas and Nickelby, Caroline Alexander, Graham Cole, Steve Whatley, Vicky Kimber, Chris Hammill, Brian Cutler, June Vernon, Amanda White, Kathy Sutton, Yvonne Beattie, Andrea Dawn, Tina Ware, Denny Wheeler, Sarah Flowers, Paul Bennett, Howard Pratt


Robinson Crusoe 1979 - 80

26th Dec 1979 - 9th Mar 1980

Kenny Smiles, Philip Griffiths, Barry Howard, Maggie Ryder, Peter Holbrook, Leo Andrew, Owen Money (as part of comedy show band ‘Tomfoolery’), Brian Conley (as part of comedy show band ‘Tomfoolery’), Ben Ellison, The Star Puppets, Charles Jameson, Maria Mann, Oliver Robbins, Terence Hepple, Jennifer Alwen, Fiona Barnaby, Janet Ellen, Odette Hunt, Sandra Knox, Jay Morgan, Nick Hirst, Fiona Arcilla, Janice Harrington, Keith Myers

From The Stage - 2nd Aug 1979

Who is that handsome chap on the right? Could it be IBY Favourite Brian Conley!?


Puss in Boots 1980 - 81

26th Dec 1980 - 8th Mar 1981


Click on image to enlarge

Davy Jones, Kenny Smiles, Freddie Lees, Peter Holbrook, Graham Cole, Menna Trussler, Katrina Tanzer, Diana Gibson, Jenny Alwen, Two’s Company, Robert Hopkins, Andrew Thomas James, Andrew Swaby, Stephen Thiebault, Yvonne Beattie, Janet Ellen, Sarah Flowers, Deborah Hann, Clare Cooper Jones, Wendy May, Emma Myant, Susan Reynolds, Richard Oriel, Colin Small

From The Stage - 8th Jan 1981


Dick Whittington 1981 - 82

26th Dec 1981 - 6th Mar 1982

Last Pantomime directed by John Chilvers


Harry H Corbett, The Chuckle Brothers, Mike Holoway, Desmond Barrit, Wendy Smith, Derek Holt, Peter Holbrook, Wendy Weaver, Menna Trussler, Duval, Gerald Armin, Robert Hopkins, Andrew Thomas James, Andrew Swaby, Clare Cooper Jones, Debbie Bundy, Janet Ellen, Emma Myant, Tessa Pritchard, Terri James, Lynne Winslo, Jane Foxall, Richard Oriel, Colin Small, Ian Fricker


From The Stage - 7th Jan 1982


Jack and the Beanstalk 1982 - 83

27th Dec 1982 - 22nd Feb 1983

Don McClean, Freddie Lees, Graham Cole, Paul Keown, Steve Dewitt, Barry Holland, Jackie Marks, James Marston, Wendy Weaver, Keefe and Annette


Babes in the Wood 1983 - 84

26th Dec 1983 - 22nd Feb 1984

Windsor Davies, Melvyn Hayes, Desmond Barrit, Gareth Snook, Aliki, Wendy Weaver, John Conroy, Michael Loughnan

Cinderella 1984 - 1985

19th Dec 1984 - 1st Mar 1985


Paul Henry, Roy Barraclough, Caroline Berry, Mark Bond, Menna Trussler, Michael Harding, Jonathan Kiley, Robin Denys

Paul Henry born in Birmingham in 1947 he was famed as Benny Hawkins in ‘Crossroads’ from 1975-1988 who went out looking for a spanner in the series in 1988 and was never seen again, recently appeared in ‘Bad Girls’ for ITV as a delivery driver called Frank. Early in his career he was picked by Ronnie Barker to play Lennie Godber in the hit comedy ‘Porridge’ but was overruled, as the producer wanted Richard Beckinsale instead. He was also the subject of ‘This is your life’ on 27th March 1985 a mere three weeks after appearing in the Grand. Paul also attended Alderlea Boys School in Birmingham with Jeff Lynne of E.L.O. fame.

Roy Barraclough born in Preston on 12th July 1935 one of his first T.V. appearances was on ‘Z Cars’. In 1972 he appeared in ‘Coronation Street’ as Rita Littlewood's agent Alec Gilroy. He returned to the Street as Alec on and off until 1986 when he became a regular with the show. Between Coronation Street appearances, Roy most famously played Cissie against Les Dawson's Ada - a pair of 'ailing' old Northern gossips and battleaxes who were enormously popular on Les Dawson’s television show in the seventies. Les was his best friend and he was devastated when Les died of a Heart attack in 1993. He was awarded an MBE in 2006.

Aladdin 1985 - 86

18th December 1985 - 1st March 1986

Bernie Clifton, Freddie Lees, Simon Oates, Ria Jones, Mark White

Mother Goose 1986 - 87

17th December 1986 - 17th February 1987

Les Dennis, Christopher Biggins, Dorothy Vernon, Julie Paton, Christina Shepherd

Dick Whittington 1987 - 88

22nd December 1987 - 13th February 1988

Ken Goodwin, Bobby Crush, Glyn Houston, Nigel Pivaro, Roy Lance, Lynne Winslow, Anthony Lyn, Derek Holt, Andrew Ryan, Ralph Meanley, Sue Wayman


Photo and Handbill supplied by, and used with permission of, Andrew Ryan


Goldilocks and the Three Bears 1988 - 89

21st December 1988 - 11th February 1989


John Inman, Susan Maughan, Susan Lee Hayward, David Copperfield, Terry Hall and Lenny the Lion, Bruce Montague, Dee Francis


Babes in the Wood 1989 - 90

20th December 1989 - 10th February 1990

Little And Large, Paul Keown, Douglas Fielding, Patsy Ann Scott, David Hopkins, Frankie Desmond

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs 1990 - 91

19th December 1991 - 3rd February 1991

Linda Lusardi, Stu Francis, Neil Morrisey, Owen Money, Mike Holoway, Nikki Kelly, The Mini Tones

Cinderella 1991 - 92

18th December 1991 - 2nd February 1992

Bobby Davro, Linda Nolan, Owen Money, Charlie Cairoli Jnr, Paul Gyngell, Phillip Day, Peter Thorne, Trevor Bradford

Robinson Crusoe 1992 - 93

17th December 1992 - 31st January 1993

Rod Hull and Emu, Joe Pasquale, Cheryl Baker, Mark Greenstreet, Owen Money, Karen Ashley, Dave Benson-Phillips, Alan Meadows

Sleeping Beauty 1993 -94

16 December 1993 - 30th January 1994

Joe Pasquale, Windsor Davies, Carol Lee Scott (was taken ill during the run and replaced by Ian Sandy, one of the production staff, as Grotty Wizard), Paul Shane, Suzanne Dando, Bruce Roberts

Paul Shane born 19th June 1940 in Rotherham South Yorkshire was a miner before turning professional in 1974 he appeared briefly in Coronation street before his big break came as Ted Bovis in Hi-De-Hi where he appeared from 1980 until it ended in 1988, after a stint in Holby City for the BBC he then got a part in Emmerdale as Solomon Dingle.

Aladdin 1994 - 95

15th December 1994 - 29th January 1995

Joe Pasquale, John Altman, Adam Woodyatt, Owen Money, Jean Fergusson, Sally Ann Matthews, Cobra from Gladiators

Jack and the Beanstalk 1995 - 96

14 December 1995 – 4 February 1996

The Chuckle Brothers, Dan Falzon, Vicki Michelle, Patrick Mower, Owen Money, Zoe Nicholls


Robin Hood 1996 - 97

19 December 1996 - 2 February 1997

An E&B Production


Ruth Madoc, Little and Large, Kevin Johns, Sarah Vandenbergh, Mark Cameron, Mike Burns


Peter Pan 1997 - 98

18th December 1997 - 1st February 1998

Michaela Strachan, Norman Bowler, Deborah McAndrew, Owen Money, Warrior from Gladiators, The Acromaniacs, Natalie Cleverley, Hayley Miller

Cinderella 1998 - 99

17th December 1998 - 31st January 1999

Melinda Messenger, Jonathon Morris, Steven Houghton, Owen Money, Andrew MacKintosh


Aladdin 1999 - 2000

17th December 1999 - 31st January 2000

Tim Vincent, Andrew Lynford, Vicki Michelle, Barry Howard, Ria Jones, The Simmons Brothers, Kevin Johns, Phil Corbitt, Cyril The Swan


2000 - 2007

15th Dec 2000 - 20th Jan 2001


Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

Mike Doyle; Kevin Johns; Jansen Spencer; Scorpio; Shaun Scott; Poppy Tierney

14th Dec 2001 - 20th Jan 2002


Peter Pan

John Challis, Mike Doyle, Dora Bryan, Kevin Johns, Jenna Lee James, Vicki Randall, Bonnie Spencer, The Acromaniacs, Rhoda Montemayor, Anna G Jansson, Kristen Lee Warren, Angela Moody, Louise Osbourne, David Campbell and Dean J Ellis

18th Dec 2002 - 26th Jan 2003


Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Lisa Riley, Sooty, Mark Jardine, Kevin Johns, Webb & Adams and Rebecca Oglesby
18th Dec 2003 - 18th Jan 2004


Dan Paris, Mike Doyle, Geoffrey Hayes, Kevin Johns, Quintin Young, Michelle Porter, Leanne Masterton, Craig Ryder, Katy Osborne

15th Dec 2004 - 16th Jan 2005

Jack and the Beanstalk

Cathryn Davis, Gary Beadle, Mike Doyle, Kim Gee, Kevin John, Frank Vickery

22nd Dec 2005 - 22nd Jan 2006

Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs

Gillian Taylforth, Kevin Johns, Fogwell Flax, Frank Vickery, Simon Lipkin, Rochelle Smith

14th Dec 2006 - 14th Jan 2007


directed by Michael Vivian

musical direction by Griff Harries

choreographed by Dezzi Lloyd

Mark Little, Mike Doyle, Kevin Johns, Craig Gallivan, Sianad Gregory, Gemma James, Phillip Arran


2007 - 2011

19th Dec 2007 - 20th Jan 2008

written by Tom Bright

original songs, adaptation and direction by Rik Gaynor

musical direction by Griff Harries

choreographed by Anna Marie Idle

Ray Meagher, Hannah Waterman, Anne Charleston, Kevin Johns, Rik Gaynor, Hayley Gallivan, Barry Daniels, Adam Gaskin, Nia Jermin

17th Dec 2008 - 18th Jan 2009

directed by Chris Jarvis

musical direction by Griff Harries

choreographed by Lewis Butler

Chris Jarvis, Su Pollard, Sarah Thomas, Kevin Johns, Frank Vickery, Nia Jermin, Luckins Shetland Ponies

16th Dec 2009 - 17th Jan 2010


Malandra Burrows, Andrew Agnew, Lewis Bradley, Kevin Johns

15th Dec 2010 - 16th Jan 2011

written by Andrew Ryan

directed by Pete Hillier

musical direction by Griff Harries

choreographed by Lewis Butler

Kevin Sacre, Melanie Walters, Peter Hillier, Kevin Johns, Sarah Lark


2011 -

16th Dec 2011 - 15th Jan 2012

executive producer - Jonathan Kiley

directed by Andrew Lynford

choreographed by Richard Peakman

Jimmy Osmond
Kevin John
Zoe George
Gavin Woods
Paul Rivers
David Lawrence
Lauren Pixie Urquhart
Liam Doyle

14th Dec '12 - 13th Jan '13

Executive Producer - Jonathan Kiley

directed by Michael Vivian

musical supervision by Olly Ashmore

choreographed by Matt Cole

Kevin Johns
Mike Doyle
Dawson Chance

Liam Mellor

Dale Evans

Di Botcher


Please contact us if you have any information about the missing pantomimes, or any additional information to that already published.

This page was last updated 26th August 2012

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