Former EastEnder Todd Carty made a special appearance at the last night of the Devonshire Park pantomime.
Hi-jinks at the final night has become something of an Eastbourne Theatres tradition, with the audience turning the tables on cast members with a series of pranks set by Chris Jordan, pantomime director.
This year’s final fling saw 120 false legs, Todd’s special appearance and dozens of pranks on the cast including duplicate cast members on stage at the same time, mixed up music and audience members who were not who they initially appeared to be.
This final fling concept was introduced a few years ago to ensure that the panto went out with a bang and has gone onto become one of the busiest performances of the entire run. Todd’s special appearance involved surprising his namesake Tucker – Todd played Tucker Jenkins in his Grange Hill days – with a performance of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from Spamalot during a scene which featured a set of fake legs and the audience and backstage crew joined in by waving 120 false legs aloft.
Katy Day, Felicity Chilver and Josh Kiernan were unexpectedly reunited with cast members from their previous tour of 42nd Street which saw a full tap routine from the show recreated; Martyn Knight’s Nellie Night Nurse received a surprise (and messy) delivery from old friend Sooty in the cake making scene and his Mary Poppins bag contained some more unexpected contents than usual, including a live chimney sweep; and there were two Prince Valiant’s vying for Princess Belle’s attentions.
Chris, “This final performance has become such a great family night out, it’s a wonderful chance for the audience to get directly involved with the show. It really is great fun for everyone involved and it’s nice to have such a special end to what has been such a fantastic pantomime.”