The last, but by no means least important item to go in my Panto bag of tricks will be bananas. I can’t abide an over-ripe banana so I’ll buy them from the Billa supermarket before proceeding to the theatre. The banana is a most useful fruit. A preventative against both Waiting in the Wings foot cramp and Between Meals stomach gurgle.
Then there are safety pins. I have them in every conceivable size. To date I’ve never needed them but I belong to a generation that remembers elastic failure and old habits die hard. What was it about post-war elastic? Nobody ever hears their waistband go ping these days but in the Fifties it was up there with Communism. The things a girl had to worry about. The advice used to be, if your drawers fall down in public, step out of them, kick them to the kerb and walk away with your head held high. And next time, before you go out make sure you have a safety pin.
Other items in my bag are a magnifying mirror so I can check between scenes for mascara seepage, plus a pharmacopoeia of Strepsils, zinc tablets and vitamin C because the slightest hint of a cold will destroy the already middling chances of my hitting a high D con belto. And then there’s duct tape. I love my duct tape. For running repairs to wings, wands and cheap sparkly slippers it cannot be bettered. It’s also potentially useful for gagging cast members whose cup of adrenalin runneth over and causes them to utter loud backstage shrieks during quiet on-stage moments. Okay, this isn’t Beckett we’re doing but, you know…?