The Magic Mirror
Denzil Howson chose to set the 1961 Christmas Pantomime, “The Magic Mirror”, in a studio re-creation of Petticoat Lane in London, which he had visited in 1952. The production was a significant step up in sophistication, with more elaborate sets, original songs and music, pre-recording of songs prior to videotaping, and the use of professional actors from outside the GTV9 stable.
Ron Blaskett and Gerry Gee arrive in Petticoat Lane, London, where they befriend Mary, a flower girl, and Mary’s domineering Uncle Joe. Mary and Gerry meet an old magician who gives them a Magic Mirror, which he promises will make their dreams come true. Mary drifts off to sleep dreaming of being a fine lady in the Royal Court. The next morning, Mary reports to the house of the Duke and Duchess Ratbaggy where Uncle Joe has found her a job as a servant girl. She learns that one of her tasks is weighing the Duke’s treasure. When Mary tells Uncle Joe about the Duke’s treasure, Uncle Joe plots to steal it. Ron and Gerry try to warn Mary, but she takes offence and shuns them. Despondent, Ron and Gerry plan to leave London. When Mary discovers her uncle’s dishonest plans she returns to Petticoat Lane where she encounters Ron and Gerry, who are about to depart. She asks their forgiveness for not listening to their warning. The trio encounter the magician again and he gives Mary a locket which he says is rightfully hers. The Duke and Duchess Ratbaggy arrive enquiring why Mary has not arrived for work. The Duchess asks Mary to show her the locket she is wearing. The Duchess recognises the photo inside the locket as her daughter who has been missing for twelve years. Uncle Joe admits that he is not really Mary’s uncle and that he was given Mary as a baby. The Duchess realises Mary is her daughter and invites them all to the Royal Palace where Mary and Gerry Gee are married and Ron and Joe are promoted to being Odd Job Men.
Photo Gallery Click on photos to enlarge
|Mary, a London flower girl
|Noble lady of the period
|Cockney apple vendor
|Old beggar and Court Magician
|Dancers and Chorus
|The Leonard Brothers
|The Junior Nines ballet
|The Royal Octet chorus
|The May Downs Dancers
|Maybe It’s Because I’m a Londoner
|All My Life I’ve Wanted to be a Barrow Boy
|Dreaming is For You (original)
|Uncle Joe (original)
|Highness With Shyness (original)
|A Foggy Day in London Town
|Chestnut Vendor Song (Alan Rowe)
|Wedding of the Rose
|Odd Job Men (original)
|Piano and Musical Director
|Writer and Producer
|Recorded to videotape on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd December 1961.
|Studio One, GTV9, Melbourne.