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  Chester Rugby Club

The following testimonial was written by Chester Rugby Club’s main Panto protagonist Tom King, and speaks for itself.
 
 
   
   

“We at Chester Under 15's had been fundraising for a Southern Hemisphere tour in 2010 for our boys since mid 2007. All of the usual discos, BBQ's and bag packing had produced some great results but we were looking for an event that would enable us to give our efforts a significant boost.

A flippant suggestion over a beer (as often the best ones are!) led to a brave, initial approach to Simon Plumb, the writer and director of the Lymm RFC Pantomime, an infamous but hugely successful show which some of us had seen. From here we were given enough helpful advice and guidance to convince us that staging such an event was actually well within our capabilities.

Buying the script (‘Jack and His Giant Beanstalk!’) from Simon saved us so much time and effort, is very highly recommended and its worth really shouldn’t be underestimated. Simon gave us a choice of two scripts and it gave us an excellent and invaluable base for us to work from. With a few little tweaks to make it specific to the characters in our own club we were good to go in no time at all.

Rehearsals began in September 2008 and were fantastic fun. It also had an unforeseen, but by no means insignificant, side-effect of bringing the whole club together with a common aim. The big weekend soon arrived (late November 2008) and, over three nights, in excess of 850 people paid £12.50 each to come and watch members of their club including teammates, coaches, Director of Rugby, kitchen staff, veterans team, Club Chairman, first team players, parents and friends in a completely new light.

All but two of the cast were “stage virgins” and nerves were certainly evident as the curtain rose on the first night, but the overwhelming feeling of goodwill that spilled from the audience and on to the stage, gave everyone all the encouragement they needed. In the end I’m not sure whether the audience or the cast enjoyed it the most – although the standing ovations we received on all three nights probably swung it the way of the audience!

The initial aim was achieved - we made a fantastic sum of money but that is only half of the story. The effort put in and the fun had by so many, cemented old friendships as well as forged new ones and really made everyone in the club feel part of a very special group – oh, and we had an absolute ball in the process.

I would thoroughly recommend the whole project and, with the support offered by Simon at Lymm I am sure many more clubs could emulate the success for themselves.”

Tom King
Under 15’s Coach, Chester Rugby Club.
January 2009

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