A theatre stalwart’s daughter has been following in his footsteps by taking on the same role he played 45 years ago.
Georgie Whale-Spencer - daughter of Customs House executive director Ray Spencer MBE - has been taking on the role of Silly Billy in Goldilocks and the Three Bears - the latest production by the Westovian Theatre Society.
Written by Tom Whalley and directed by Wayne Miller, the show is currently running at the Pier Pavilion Theatre in South Shields until tomorrow.
The pantomime tells the classic story of a young girl who discovers an intriguing wooden cottage deep in the forest and decides to explore.
In the show Georgie, 17, plays the same part her dad played when he was also aged 17 in 1974 at the Westovians.
Georgie, a Westovians Junior, joined the theatre group three years ago and has been in six productions.
She is joined by a dedicated cast of performers who hope to entertain and dazzle the audience with their new take on the show.
Georgie, a theatre studies student at St Wilfrid’s R.C College, said: “I initially auditioned for Goldilocks, but the way I auditioned was more as a comedy role, so I was chosen for the part of Silly Billy.
“All of the performances so far have been more or less sold out and the feedback from the audience has been electric.”
The show also features Lori Smedley as Goldilocks, Robert Wilson Baker as Dame Gertie Dollop and Jen Stevens as Daddy Bear.
Mammy bear is played by Katie Stubbs, Baby Bear is Max Walton and Maisy Tomlin and the Ringmaster is played by Heinkel Jen Normandale.
Erin Atack takes on the role of Workie Ticket, Mystic Sharon is played by Lorna Bell and Jack Young takes on Baron Wasteland.
Director Wayne Miller said: “After being a long time audience member of the Westovian Panto, it’s nice to be on the other side, working with such a talented bunch.
“Growing up watching Westovian stalwarts like Bob Stott and Ray Spencer was my panto education. “So now I’m loving the chance to work with a new generation of panto stars.”
He continued: “Seeing Georgie perform as Silly Billy is wonderful.
“She has definitely got some of her dad’s comedy timing, but some of her mum’s stand out stage presence too.
“She’s a worthy chip off the old block as they say and promises to make her own mark on panto.”
The show runs until tomorrow at the Westovian Theatre, at the Pier Pavillion in South Shields.
There is a matinee performance at 2.30 and another at 7.30pm.
Tickets for adults are £9 and children are £7 and are available from The Word in South Shields or online at: www.westovians.co.uk
REVIEW BY LOCAL ACTOR STEPHEN SULLIVAN:
Goldilocks and the Three Bears is not a pantomime you see often but perhaps due to the success of The Greatest Showman, the circus setting has renewed appeal for audiences.
It’s great to see something different rather than one of the Disney titles.
The Westovians is always a highlight for me, putting on a show that while is amateur, bridges the gap between that and professional theatre. The society always produce a high standard pantomime and this year is no different.
Although a very young cast their professionalism shone through.
This is a family pantomime that gets it just right.
Tom Whalley’s script is packed with one liners and puns that will have you in hysterics.
The show is packed full of brilliant musical numbers ranging from current chart hits, songs from the shows and classic pop hits.
All those involved should be very proud of themselves.