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BMDS sticks to its panto plan as ‘Santa Baby’ is cancelled

‘Santa Baby' may not take the stage in Bermuda this December, but the annual Christmas pantomime is still ready to go.

Bermuda Musical and Dramatic Society (BMDS) president and director of ‘Sleeping Beauty', Carol Birch, said rehearsals are already underway for the panto, which will be held at the Daylesford Theatre.

While the show has traditionally been held at the Earl Cameron Theatre, when BMDS went to book the theatre last year they discovered ‘Santa Baby' — a production by celebrated Bermudian television producer Arthur Rankin — had beaten them to the punch.

The show, based on an animated television special made by Mr Rankin and partner Jules Bass, was officially cancelled on Monday due to unforeseen technical and production challenges. However Mr Rankin said he and producing partner Gary Philips would both make significant donations to three charities that would have benefited from the show's profits.

Ms Birch said yesterday that BMDS were surprised when they found out the Earl Cameron Theatre had been booked, but the organisation is now excited to host the pantomime at its own theatre.

“Obviously we had to do a whole mind shift on what we were going to do, but I firmly believe that things happen for a reason and it's how you deal with it that counts,” Ms Birch said. “When we put it to everyone here, everyone was excited about doing it at Daylesford because it's our home.

“It's stadium seating so all the seats are great seats and it's a close and personal atmosphere for the children. And because we're doing it here we are doing two shows a night, which is good for a lot of people with young children. It means they can see the early show at 6.30pm and have the kids in bed by 8.30pm.

“We had some challenges working out how we would be able to do a show with 12 scenes without the fly gallery that they have at City Hall, but we were able to come up with something very unique to solve the problem.”

She said there had been some talk within BMDS about attempting to move the show back to City Hall when they found out ‘Santa Baby' had been cancelled, but they decided to keep the panto in Daylesford this year.

“We are so far along in preparations and everyone is excited about doing it here at Daylesford,” she said. “We are going to be decorating the doors and doing all sorts of fun stuff in the car park before and after the shows. We're going to be decorating the whole building.”

Ms Birch said it was unfortunate that ‘Santa Baby' had to be cancelled, saying: “I'm really sorry for the other group. We know how difficult it is to find technical people. I think all of the groups on the Island have to deal with the same problem.

“We have a few people here who do the technical side very well, and we are always looking for anyone who might be interested in that aspect. The sounds, the lights, the building of sets, all of these things. We have some really fabulous technical people who are always willing to help to teach young talent.”

‘Sleeping Beauty' will take place between December 5 and December 14 at the Daylesford Theatre on Washington Street.

Useful website: www.bmds.bm.

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Published September 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated September 26, 2013 at 12:49 am)

BMDS sticks to its panto plan as ‘Santa Baby’ is cancelled

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