DENZIL HOWSON ARCHIVE
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1958

Sleigh Bells

The 1958 Pantomime, “Sleigh Bells”, was performed in front of a studio audience and broadcast live to air. Utilising the talents of the core Happy/Tarax Show cast, it featured specially designed sets and used pre-recorded film inserts for the “Santa Copter flying” sequences.

Synopsis

Professor Ratbaggy has invented a Santa Copter to fly Happy Hammond, Ron Blaskett, Gerry Gee and Elaine McKenna to the North Pole to help Santa with his Christmas orders. They meet Santa and his workers: Susan-Gaye, Jovial Janet and Bernard (the Magician). Santa is angry with Bernard, who has been causing trouble, and tells him to leave. Bernard departs angrily and threatens revenge. Ron, Gerry and Elaine trek through the snow looking for Bernard, who they find in his magician’s cave casting a diabolical spell on Santa. They decide to steal Bernard’s magic wand, but it breaks in two and they can only take half of it back to Santa’s workshop. There they find that the reindeer have gone, and the Santa Copter has stopped working — the result of Bernard’s spell. All except Elaine return to the magician’s cave to get the other half of the wand. Meanwhile Bernard sneaks into the workshop and captures Elaine. He threatens her with a magic atomic bomb. The others arrive back and Bernard takes them captive also. The Good Spirit of Christmas appears magically. She casts a spell over Bernard which erases his wickedness. The reindeer return and Santa can deliver the toys. The friends board the Santa Copter and fly back to the Tarax Show where the studio audience awaits them. There is singing and dancing as they celebrate Christmas.

Credits

Cast
Happy Hammond
Ron Blaskett
Gerry Gee
Ernie CarrollProfessor Ratbaggy
Alf GertlerBernard the Magician
Elaine McKennaElaine
Jack LittleSanta
Susan-Gaye AndersonSusan
Janice KeeneJovial Janet
Evie HayesThe Good Spirit of Christmas
Coral Deague
Dancers and Chorus
St Theodores Childrens Ballet
Boys Choir from the Christian Brothers Parade Preparatory College
Musical Numbers
It’s Impossible (original)
Friends, Friends, Friends
We Work for Santa (original)
The Damage I’ll Cause Will Wreck Santa Claus (original)
Christmas Time, Joyful Time (original?)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Happy Days are Here Again
Music
Margot SheridanPiano
Ian ThomasOrgan
Crew
Margot SheridanMusical Director
Mike NewmanTechnical Director
Trevor LingSet Designer
John FowlerLighting
Wally ShawAudio
John StewartFloor Manager
Bill BeamsDirector
Denzil HowsonWriter
Fred MaxianProducer
Production Details
Duration50 minutes
Production DateNot documented.
LocationStudio One, GTV9, Melbourne.