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Lions, Robinson Crusoe pantomime, 1973/4

Sat, Dec 01 1973Have you got more information on this listing? Click here to tell us what you know
The most famous panto story of all is the staging of Robinson Crusoe in 1973/4 featuring four real lions! Managing Director at the time, Humphrey Stanbury explains:
I thought we must have a real jungle scene, let’s have real wild animals, let’s have lions! ……..We had lions on stage at the Grand – one lion and three lionesses. I always remember the circus proprietor came to see me in September. We stood on the empty stage and he said right we’ll build a couple of cages for you and each night for your jungle scene, we’ll put up a ring on your stage of about 12 feet high and we’ll build a tunnel. Each night we’ll open the trap and the lions will come down the tunnel and straight onto your stage- perfect! I gulped and said “ought there to be a net over the top of the ring?” “Well, “he said, “Different authorities in different town have different ideas. My advice to you is to put a net over the top of the ring for the first couple of performances until they settle down.” I said “You mean when the lions settle down?” He said “No, I mean when the authorities settle down!”
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